Indie Entertainment Podcast

Indie Entertainment News Magazine is an online publication dedicated to the independent filmmakers and indie musicians. We currently have a youtube channel and now we add our latest component (Indie Entertainment Podcast) We share conversation with some of the brightest and innovative filmmakers/musicians that may not be on the radar. We love what we do and want to share our friends with you! Hosted and produced by Monica Morrison.
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May 6, 2018

On this episode - Sariann Monaco gives insights into the industry. 

Actress/Producer Sariann Monaco is writer of the Telly-awarded films "Down Stage" and writer and co-director of "Absent."  She has co-produced several projects for Heartland Films, Inc. Monaco is the narrator of the Telly-award winning film "One" and voices the sassy waitress in 2016's "Top Cat Begins" animation film, directed by Charlie Adler. She has been recognized internationally for her voice-over work for Nature Made Vitamins and Sambazon Acai. Ms. Monaco is represented by VOX Inc., LA and is a Second City Chicago alumna. Her on-camera work includes "The Saddle" and "Between Bullets and her commercial appearance in ''Check Your Sources: Hashtags" San Diego won an ADDY award. She was nominated for best actress at the 2015 San Diego Film Awards. She has judged the regional Emmy awards and the annual San Diego Film Festival and serves on the advisory board for “My Power of One" charity. 

Filmmaker Sariann will be a guest on a film panel and the Cannes Film Festival. 


May 4, 2018

Monica speaks to Inspirational filmmaker for all ages and genders,

Sue Vicory

Three time Telly Award-winning filmmaker, Sue Vicory (  has been creating community-based films and projects within her not for profit production company, Heartland Films, Inc. since 2003. Her works include  "Homelessness & the Power of One,” feature documentaries “One” and "Kansas City Jazz & Blues; Past, Present & Futureand short films “Absent” and "1898, The W.F. Norman StoryIn 2015, she founded Team XX, an all female team of 25 filmmakers that created the award-winning film “Down Stage.” Vicory is a member of the LA based Alliance of Women Directors and creator of the website to increase visibility for female filmmakers.

Three time Telly Award winning filmmaker, Sue Vicory was born in DeKalb, Illinois and grew up in the Midwest.  Sue has been married to her college sweetheart Jay since 1978. They have raised 2 daughters, Tracy and Katy.

Sue began working at her family’s business, W.F. Norman Corp. in Nevada, Missouri in 1987 where she is currently co-owner and CFO of the business. She received a Master’s Degree from Webster University in Computer Resource Management. Sue is a long time runner and has completed 3 marathons. Her other life passions are film, music, travel and anything outdoors. Sue and her husband have a weekend farm that they retreat to and spend holidays at with their children.

Since 2003 Sue’s extra time has been spent creating community based films and projects within her not for profit production company Heartland Films, Inc. Her first film was entitled Homelessness & the Power of One. The film debuted in 2005, shortly after Katrina hit New Orleans. It went on to raise $200,000 for shelters while winning numerous awards. The ten minute documentary took 3 years to make as she traveled to 15 cities across the U.S. The film screened across the nation and Sue spoke to dozens of groups about the experience of meeting those that were homeless. Sue screened the film at a luncheon for Steve Lopez (The Soloist) and also won an emerging filmmaker grant sponsored by General Motors and Women in Film. Sue won the Spirit Award in 2007 from Kansas City Women in Film & TV and the Angel Award in Harlem, NY.

The My Power of One project was born out of this first film.  Sue spent 9 months in two urban high schools creating community based projects with students. She went on to create food and coat drives at her family business engaging other businesses to join in.

Sue’s next film took 5 years to create and finish. The feature documentary, Kansas City Jazz & Blues; Past, Present & Future debuted as a sneak peek in 2010 at the Gem theater on 18th & Vine in Kansas City with Marilyn Maye headlining the red carpet event.  The full release of the film was in 2011 as it aired on PBS in June of 2011 and January of 2012.

On the heels of that film’s release came another short film in 2011 called 1898, The W.F. Norman story. This 20 minute film tells the story of Sue’s family business which has been in continuous operation since 1898. It is a historic look at a manufacturing process that has stood the test of time while creating products for movie sets, Disney World, casinos, celebrity homes and historic preservation projects worldwide.

Sue’s fourth film “One” a feature documentary premiered in July of 2014. One is a  film about global humanity with regards to our individual significance and impact within it. The film has been submitted to film festivals around the world. It has won a 2014 Telly Award and is on the film festival circuit.  A companion book, After the Question has been written by her daughter Tracy and illustrated by her other daughter Katy. It is currently available on Amazon and Kindle, both in hard copy and digital download. In addition to that a bronze statue was commissioned named “Humanity” created by artist Maidy Morhous. A video called “The Making of Humanity” narrates that journey.

Most recently Sue created Team XX, an all female team of filmmakers. Team XX was the first ever all female team to enter the 48 hour San Diego film project. A team of 25 women created the film “Down Stage“. It has been nominated for a San Diego film award and won a 2016 Telly award.

Sue’s short narrative film “Absent” was made in late 2014. Within 120 days we took the vision of Sariann Monaco from script to screen. It had its world premiere in San Diego and won 1st place in the Audience Choice Awards. The film was also nominated for three awards at the San Diego film festival and won a 2015 Telly Award.

Recently produced was the My Power of One web series Pilot using many of the A-list actors in San Diego. Two episodes were shot in the Spring/Summer of 2015. has all the updates. will stream the series.

Women Documentary Filmmakers” is a web site Sue created for the visibility of women documentary filmmakers from around the world.


Learn more about Sue  -


May 4, 2018

Monica speaks to Kamala Lopez, Filmmaker, Actress and Activist.

Kamala Lopez, executive director, Equal Means Equal and president of Heroica Films, launched the movement and accompanying film to educate Americans about the importance of equal rights under federal law for women. The film is executive produced by Liz Lopez and Patricia Arquette, and received Best US Documentary Audience Award in 2016 at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival.

 “It is extremely heartening to see Hollywood embrace the Equal Rights Amendment and help push for final ratification in the last two states. Eugenia Kuzmina is taking a strong role and position in the issue and the event at her lovely home began an important industry dialogue that will have far reaching effects on the global population of women and girls.  It is fitting that the entertainment industry, proudly progressive on the whole, would champion a Constitutional amendment that would finally see all Americans as equal under law,” explains Lopez.

Equal Means Equal is a labor of love that Lopez embarked on over eight years ago when she first realized that women still did not have Constitutional protections in the United States and that most Americans did not know that.

The Equal Means Equal initiative supports the ratification of the ERA in its current form with the objective of educating individuals and engaging communities regarding the role of the amendment in eradicating inequities facing women across the United States.  

The ERA, which simply reads: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex,” was first introduced in 1923 and passed by Congress for States’ ratification in 1972.  


May 3, 2018

Monica interviews Greg Sestero, who portrayed Mark in The Room and served as its line producer, wrote The Disaster Artist based on his experiences working on the film.

A number of publications have labeled The Room one of the worst films ever made. Ross Morin, an assistant professor of film studies at Connecticut College, described The Room as "the Citizen Kane of bad movies".[3] Originally shown only in a limited number of California theatersThe Room quickly became a cult film due to its bizarre and unconventional storytelling, technical and narrative flaws, and Wiseau's off-kilter performance. Although Wiseau has retrospectively described the film as a black comedy, audiences have generally viewed it as a poorly-made drama, an opinion shared by some of the cast.

The Room is a 2003 American drama film written, directed, produced by and starring Tommy Wiseau, and co-starring Greg Sestero and Juliette Danielle. The film centers on a melodramatic love triangle between amiable banker Johnny (Wiseau), his deceptive fiancée Lisa (Danielle) and his conflicted best friend Mark (Sestero). A significant portion of the film is dedicated to a series of unrelated subplots, most of which involve at least one supporting character and are left unresolved due to the film's inconsistent narrative structure. According to Wiseau, the title alludes to the potential of a room to be the site of both good and bad events;[4] the stage play from which the screenplay is derived takes place in a single room.[5]

The Disaster ArtistSestero's memoir of the making of The Room, was co-written with Tom Bissell and published in 2013. A film of the same name based on the book, directed by and starring James Franco, was released on December 1, 2017; both the book and film received widespread acclaim and numerous award nominations. The Room also inspired an unofficial video game adaptation, The Room Tribute, released on Newgrounds in 2010.

Apr 27, 2018

Monica speaks to Director Danny A. Abeskaser

- get your copy Tuesday - May 1

First We Take Brooklyn, starring Danny A. Abeckaser, AnnaLynne McCord, Harvey Keitel, Charlotte McKinney, Edoardo Ballerini and Kathrine Narducci, brings grit and drama to the big screen in a feature film showcasing the dark life faced by the lead character upon return to his hometown of Brooklyn, following an intense Israeli prison stint. Directed by Abeckaser as his directorial debut, and co-written by Abeckaser with actor and producer Jon Carlo, Abeckaser was compelled and determined to direct and star in the crime drama himself, to ensure the story was portrayed exactly how he envisioned it.

The film hit theatres in NYC, Brooklyn, NJ, Long Island and Westchester on February 9th, following a February 7th New York premiere at Regal Battery Park.  Los Angeles and Miami opened on February 15th. It maintained in theatres for several weeks, in a top 10 slot per screen. Sony’s home box office division 4Digital will release on VOD and DVD release for May 1st, Direct TV, Time Warner, iTunes, Amazon Video, Fandango Now, Playstation, Redbox AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Dish, Cox, Cablevision, Charter, Frontier, Vudu, Microsoft and Google . Additionally, the DVD will be carried in Walmarts and other stores across the country. The movie has also been distributed in Israel and in various other countries under the name Brooklyn Guns.

First We Take Brooklyn has been a three-year long passion project for Abeckaser, who used his integral and applaudable hustle to get the film written, funded and made.  Being Israeli born and Brooklyn raised, First We Take Brooklyn utilizes Abeckaser’s knowledge of both geographic cultures to create a captivating film guaranteed to keep the attention of the viewer and get them buzzing. The movie was shot entirely on location in Brooklyn, New York with a few scenes in Manhattan, to ensure all elements were as authentic as possible, which also allowed the actors to truly immerse themselves into the story.

“This has been a long time passion project with lots of blood, sweat and tears behind it, and therefore I am so beyond excited for it to finally be ready for release. Being born in Israel and raised in Brooklyn, I knew these kinds of characters my entire life, it’s my DNA, so I was determined to direct this film to properly bring these incredible people to life through incredible actors, and see the vision to fruition.” - Danny A. Abeckaser

Mar 24, 2018

Monica speaks to Leslie Zemeckis - an American Filmmaker and Director.

As a historian of American pop culture, Leslie Zemeckis continues bringing to life the stories of marginalized women.

You have wrote, produced and directed the critically acclaimed documentary “Behind the Burly Q,” a Showtime documentary revealing never-before told stories of women from the golden age of burlesque, and the award-winning documentary “Bound by Flesh” about Siamese superstars Daisy and Violet Hilton, chronicles an important part of American entertainment from a bygone era, delving into the world of circus and carnival life in the early part of the 20th Century.

Her newest award-winning film, “Mabel, Mabel, Tiger Trainer,” tells the empowering story of the world’s first female tiger trainer and will be released domestically on DVD and streaming platforms (Amazon and Vimeo) beginning April 10.

The talented Zemeckis has many credits her career details can be found here on imdb.



Mar 2, 2018
Monica speaks to Taura Stinson, who is a songwriter known for co-writing collaborations with artists such as Usher, Ariana Grande, Raphael Saadiq, Andre 3000, Destiny’s Child and many more.

She talks about celebrating her first “Best Original Song” Academy Award nomination for “Mighty River”—a song she co-wrote with Saadiq (a frequent collaborator) and Mary J. Blige—which appears in the film Mudbound.  Performed by Mary J. Blige, the song has already garnered a Golden Globe Nomination and is the high point of a celebrated songwriting career.

The 90th edition of the Academy Awards will air on March 4th.

While this is Stinson’s first Oscar nomination, it’s not her first time on the Oscar stage. Stinson sang in the choir at the 2015 Academy Awards for Common and John Legend’s performance of the Oscar-winning song, “Glory” from Selma.   A long list of her work and accomplishments in bio below.

Listen to “Mighty River” here:

Says Stinson: “The inspiration for the song title “Mighty River” came from the idea of washing the mud from lives, both literally and metaphorically.  The song is about the redemption of the two families featured in the film.  It is a song about forgiveness and hope.  We wanted to use the song as a platform to inspire and affect change.”


Taura Stinson is a Veteran songwriter Born in Birmingham, AL and raised in Oakland, CA. In her early career she penned songs for artists including Destiny’s Child, Kelis, Kelly Rowland and Deborah Cox and has collaborated with Raphael Saadiq, Dr. Dre, Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon, Kanye West and Andre 3000 among many others.  Her very first film soundtrack placement was on “Men in Black” and she has sense worked on various mediums ranging from Film, TV and a wide range of artists. She co-wrote the Grammy nominated single on the Illumination album called “Show Me The Way” for the legendary band, Earth, Wind and Fire. Taura and her long time writing partner, Raphael Saadiq wrote and produced the song “Gonna Be Alright” performed by Steven Tyler (AEROSMITH) for the animated film starring Beyonce titled “Epic”. They also wrote and produced ALL of the songs for the Musical film “Black Nativity” starring Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson, Angela Bassett, Jacob Latimore, Mary J Blige, Luke James, Tyrese and Nas.

Taura and Raphael were nominated for the “Ashford and Simpson Songwriters award as well as Grammy nomination for their collaboration on the song they also co-wrote called “Good Man” on Saadiq’s Stone Rollin Album on which she was a featured artist. Taura is also a freelance A&R consultant garnering a Grammy win for her first A&R project, “The Awakening of LeAndria Johnson”. In addition, Taura was A&R director for Music World Entertainment and BET’S “Sunday Best” franchise for contestants and winners including Amber Bullock, Joshua Rogers, Andrea Helms, Elder Goldwire and Alexis Spight, who were released Top 10 Gospel Singles/Albums. Taura works with a variety of artists as a vocal producer/arranger/choir coordinator from various genres as including but not limited to, Paloma Faith, Kim Burrell, Trombone Shorty, Chaka Khan, Paris Hilton, The Reef Band, Patti Labelle and the television show, “The Underground” among others.

Taura served as lead lyricist for the animated film “Rio 2” starring Oscar Winners Jamie Foxx and Anne Hathaway. She also co-wrote “Airplay”, the end title for the film “Beyond TheLights” and “Champions”, the end title for the 2016 film “Hands of Stone” featuring Usher and Ruben Blades.

Feb 8, 2018

Monica speaks to - Wild The Coyote and Badd Wolf as they share their story of how they came to make the amazing sounds.

Indie Entertainment (News) Magazine while covering Sundance Film Festival, visited the Stateroom in Salt Lake City for Blackkiss Album showcase. Wild The Coyote and Badd Wolf opened for their friend Pete Sands, a native american up and coming artist. 

Catch Wild The Coyote at the Viper Room in LA. 

Monday Feb 12


A unique collaboration between country music and hip-hop emerged in the summer of 2017 when small town folk artist Wild the Coyote and Los Angeles raised rapper Badd Wolf were booked together to perform at Interscope Recording artist Yelawolf’s 3rd annual Music festival, Slumfest, in Nashville TN. Since taking on the stage name Wild the Coyote and Badd Wolf, the dynamic duo have headlined stages from Hollywood’s infamous Viper Room to Harley Davidson private parties. Styles of sound ranging from blues and dark-country to head bopping hip hop and soul. The team has recently begun traveling to perform in major cities in the U.S. and with the release of their debut single “Old Man”, Wild the Coyote and the Badd Wolf intend to hit the road and never look back. In February 2018 they will be the headlining music act at “Mama Tried,” Harley Davidson’s event at the Harley Davidson museum in Milwaukee.  

Jan 24, 2018
Monica speaks to writer/creator Cesar Mazarigos about his new series High & Mighty”, which screens @ Sundance Film Festival.
 is a buddy comedy and has been described as Unbreakable meets Friday – a superhero, but only when he’s drunk, stoned or high. The series is directed by rising director Carlos Lopez Estrada (who also premiering at the festival with his feature Blindspotting).
About Cesar:
The newcomer writer/creator Cesar Mazariegos (who pitched the series during a break from his job working at an LA mortuary) and rising director Carlos Lopez Estrada (who also has Blindspotting premiering at the festival), it stars a solid cast of established character actors including Jorge Diaz ("The Long Road Home," "East Los High"), James Eckhouse (The Avengers, S.W.A.T., "All The Way," "Beverly Hills 90210), Shakira Barrera ("Glow," "Rosewood"), Chelsea Rendon ("Bright"). 
Additional Sundance Film Festival Screening Details:  
Wednesday, January 24
6:00 p.m.    High & Mighty screening and Q&A
@ Park Avenue Theatre, Park City
Thursday, January 25
9:45 p.m.        High & Mighty screening and Q&A
@ Broadway Centre Cinema 3, Salt Lake City  
The cast will be on-site at Sundance Film Festival and available for press.
Stage 13, the fearless digital content brand and a division of Warner Bros. Digital Networks, returns to the Sundance Film Festival tomorrow screening its original digital series “High & Mighty” in the Indie Episodic 3 category at 3:30 p.m. at The Ray (1780 Park avenue., Park City). The series was created and written by Cesar Mazariegos (“Deception”) and directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada (Blindspotting). Variety recently spotlighted Estrada as one of “10 Directors To Watch.”
Jan 15, 2018

Monica speaks to Rabbi Yonah Bookstein Co-Founder Pico Shul. He shares his passion about the Shabbat Lounge during Sundance.


Avi Chai Foundation, Suzanne Felson, EJF Philanthropies, Alevy Family Foundation, Stephanie & David Schwartz, 120DB Films, Saddle Ranch Films, Chai Center, JConnect, Shabbat Tent, Chabad Park City. 

Dinner Hosts: 

Suzanne Felson, Nick Meyer, Michael Helfant, Dan Adler, Craig Emmanuel, Yehudi Steiger, Yonah & Rachel Bookstein, Mendel Schwartz. 

Rabbi Yonah has worked with Jewish communities across the globe inspiring a rebirth in Jewish communal life.

Rabbi Yonah was Director of the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation in Poland 1998-2001 which culminated ten years of dedication to the rebirth of Polish Jewry. He later served as campus rabbi at Long Beach State and UC Irvine and then running JConnect & Jewlicious in Los Angeles. The Forward has called Rabbi Yonah one of the “game changers” in American Jewish Life. He was named a Jewish Community Hero by the Jewish Federations of North America, and one of the Top Ten Jews in Social Media by NJOP. Rabbi Yonah is the most followed congregational rabbi world-wide on Twitter and blogs regularly on Huffington Post and Jewish Journal. Rabbi Yonah is a graduate of Ohr Somayach Monsey, Oxford University, Jagiellonian University, and The University of Oregon. In addition to his work with Pico Shul, Rabbi Yonah is Alevy Rabbi-in-Residence at USC Hillel and director of Shabbat Tent.

Jan 11, 2018

Monica speaks to Sue Vicory

Three time Telly Award-winning filmmaker, Sue Vicory has been creating community-based films and projects within her not for profit production company, Heartland Films, Inc. since 2003. Her works include "Homelessness & the Power of One,” feature documentaries “One” and "Kansas City Jazz & Blues; Past, Present & Future" and short films “Absent” and "1898, The W.F. Norman Story. In 2015, she founded Team XX, an all female team of 25 filmmakers that created the award-winning film “Down Stage.” Vicory is a member of the LA based Alliance of Women Directors and creator of the website Women Documentary Filmmakers to increase visibility for female filmmakers.

Sue's 119 year old family owned manufacturing niche business in Nevada, Missouri makes products that ship all over the world.

Learn more about Sue  -


Sue- will be at Sundance in Park City, Utah and will participate in a Panel

 “Indie Film Showcase at Park City.”

Event Details:

Join us during the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 21st  for a thought leadership panel, Q & A session, and a social networking mixer and cocktail reception at the “Indie Film Showcase at Park City.”

The panel discussion will focus on the entertainment industry for the independent filmmaking community. It will highlight the creative work of the panelists as they discuss some of the projects they have recently worked on, the challenges they have overcome, share some low effort/high return solutions that have worked for them, and what’s next on the horizon for the indie film industry. Monica Morrison of | Indie Entertainment Podcast, part of B Team Media Group will be moderating this discussion.



Sun, January 21, 2018

1:45 PM – 4:00 PM MST

Add to Calendar


710 Bodega Tapas And Wine

710 Main Street

Park City, UT 84060

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Jan 11, 2018

Jeff Witzeman

Filmmaker Jeff Witzeman is the writer/producer/director of the controversial documentary “Cancer Can Be Killed” that currently is on the festival circuit and available worldwide on Amazon Prime, iTunes and Google Play. Witzeman was inspired to make the film after his wife Kerry was cured and cancer free after receiving non-traditional treatments in Europe, instead of opting for the often aggressive treatment methods promoted by the U.S. medical community. Previously he worked as an actor, writer and musician. In the 90’s, he starred in such shows as “Frazier,” “Webster” and a Miller Genuine Draft Super Bowl commercial. In 2000, Jeff Witzeman & The Jealous Housewives became the most radio played unsigned band in America.

Jan 11, 2018

Monica speaks to Allison Melody

Allison Melody is an eco-entrepreneur with a passion for film, fitness and food. Her endeavors include podcast-hosting, filmmaking and motivational speaking. Melody hosts the top ranked Food Heals Podcast (, owns the film production company Melody Productions( and speaks at events across the USA and Europe. For the past twelve years, Melody has also directed, produced and edited documentary films, PSAs, commercials and viral videos on the topics of social justice, human rights and public health. She is currently directing FoodHeals(, a documentary that follows several inspiring individuals who have used nutrition and alternative medicine to heal themselves of chronic, degenerative and terminal disease.

Jan 3, 2018

Monica speaks to LARRY NAMER, President/CEO Metan Global Entertainment Group.

An entertainment industry veteran with over 45 years professional experience in cable television, live events and new media. Larry Namer is a founding partner of Metan Global Entertainment Group (MGEG), a venture created to develop and distribute entertainment content and media specifically for Chinese speaking audiences in China and abroad.

MGEG recently launched the inspirational competition series The Bruce Lee Project in China, in conjunction with Company Films (co-owned by Keanu Reeves and Stephen Hamel), Bruce Lee Entertainment, LLC (Shannon Lee’s production company) and Benaroya Pictures. The joint venture So You Think You Know Kung Fu LLC and 8K Miles Media Group have joined forces to bring the series to audiences in South Asia and Middle East. Mr. Namer was involved in creating the series’ original format and currently oversees sales and development for the project.

An accomplished entrepreneur, Mr. Namer is the co-founder of E! Entertainment Television, a company now valued at over $3.5 billion USD, and the creator of several successful companies in the United States and overseas. Among those companies are Comspan Communications that pioneered Western forms of entertainment in the former Soviet Union, including the syndication of the popular soap opera Santa Barbara, which ran for 10 years in the region, and Steeplechase Media that served as the primary consultant to Microsoft’s MiTV for developing interactive TV applications. Steeplechase was also involved in the early development of ITV programming, creating interactive episodes of Baywatch, Pacific Blue and over 250 episodes of Judge Judy. Mr. Namer was also the Primary Strategic Consultant to The Documentary Channel. 


Event Details:

Join us during the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 21st  for a thought leadership panel, Q & A session, and a social networking mixer and cocktail reception at the “Indie Film Showcase at Park City.”

The panel discussion will focus on the entertainment industry for the independent filmmaking community. It will highlight the creative work of the panelists as they discuss some of the projects they have recently worked on, the challenges they have overcome, share some low effort/high return solutions that have worked for them, and what’s next on the horizon for the indie film industry. Monica Morrison of | Indie Entertainment Podcast, part of B Team Media Group will be moderating this discussion.



Sun, January 21, 2018

1:45 PM – 4:00 PM MST

Add to Calendar


710 Bodega Tapas And Wine

710 Main Street

Park City, UT 84060

View Map


Dec 15, 2017

Monica speaks to David Raynor, filmmaker. Their conversation is a delicate topic and the subject of David's new award winning film ."We Need to Talk" 

He will be a panelist speaker during Sundance Film Festival 

Space is limited RSVP now



David M. Raynor began his working life at the age of 19, becoming a hairdresser in the city of Melbourne. He won some awards for styling and cutting and opened his own hairdressing salon in partnership.  After a couple of years he decided to move to Sydney where he wanted to work with magazines such as Vogue, Cosmo, Cleo.

David then set out on his own path again and opened three hairdressing salons on Sydney’s North Shore. However, David felt that he needed something more, so using his contacts from his magazine work he started photography and worked with some of the best modeling agencies in Australia. 

David returned to Melbourne where he and a couple of friends made a short film. David had never written a script before and he decided that, as he wasn’t connected in the industry, and as he was starting at an older age, that he needed to write and direct his own stories. So that is what he did.

Fast forward, in the last four years David has won over 30 International awards for his short films and a number of the cast and crew have also managed award status. “This is why I make films”. David said. Winning awards is the recognising that the cast and crew put in the hours for the love of film. “This is very self-satisfying for me’, he said.

David's latest film, ‘We Need To Talk’, is a 42 minute short film, about trying to prevent youth suicide, a topic that he has handled with the thoughtfulness, integrity and respect. It is currently being developed into a feature film in 2018. Also in 2018, David will be produce a French Noir classic overtone titled ‘ Ubiquitous’.

David’s passion for his film work is inspiring as he commits himself to each project with a keen eye and natural ability, with admirable results.

Dec 2, 2017

Vivien Benjamin Villani is a French-Italian classically-trained film composer, professor of film scoring and writer.

His classical training took place in several Schools of Music in Paris. He has studied music analysis with Bruno Plantard and Anthony Girard, composition with Laurent Saudain and Renaud Grandemange, piano with François Kerdoncuff, orchestration with Guillaume Connesson and orchestra conducting with Adrian McDonnell.

In 2003, he graduated with high honors in Film Studies from University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne and holds a Master’s Degree equivalent. He studied under the guidance of Nicole Brenez. His graduation thesis was focused on the analysis of the soundtracks in the movies of Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

As a composer, Vivien Villani has scored many short films, feature films and documentaries since 2001. Most of his soundtracks have been performed by the Cinema Orchestra, an orchestra of young musicians that he created in Paris in 2008 with which he’s also working in the framework of US produced movies. Vivien Villani is currently represented by Direction By Appointment, Inc. in New York City. In this framework, he works closely with outstanding managers Marc Jacobson and John Velasco.

Besides, he has been teaching film scoring, musicology and film theory in the US, Italy and France since 2005. In March 2013, he was invited by Professor Elisabeth Weis to give a lecture at the Brooklyn College (New York City). In May 2016, he gave a presentation at the prestigious conference Music and the Moving Image at NYU in New York City. In 2017, he’ll be invited as a guest lecturer at the Film Department of San Francisco State University (SFSU) in San Francisco. His lectures are mostly organized around the conception of film music by American directors like Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Paul Schrader, David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, Sam Mendes, Night M. Shyamalan and Darren Aronofsky, or the analysis of soundtracks by composers like Bernard Herrmann, John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman, Marco Beltrami and Alexandre Desplat.

He has written two books, Guide pratique de la musique de film [Practical guide of film music] (Scope Éditions and Maison du Film Court, 2008, in French), about film scoring, and Dario Argento (Gremese Editore, 2008, in Italian), a monography about the italian director, as well as many papers for professional film magazines. He has also been invited to speak on National French radios like France Musique and France Inter to discuss his projects as a composer or to analyze the conception of film scoring by industry directors and composers.

He resides in Los Angeles, where he works out of his studio in Hollywood District, and occasionally in New York City as well.


Nov 15, 2017

"BIG TIME" opens in NY see times below:


Wed, November 15th – 9.15pm – Cinépolis Chelsea 5

Thu, November 16th – 10.30am – IFC

AND - 

December 1 @
Landmark at 57 West in New York for a week-long run.
 - get your tickets now.

Landmark Theater @ 57 West - NY 


On this podcast Monica speaks to danish director Kaspar Astrup Schröder has followed the Danish star-architect over the course of five years. Most people know Bjarke Ingels for his work, but the film BIG TIME gets up and close to the person that is Bjarke Ingels.



Bjarke Ingels started out as a young man dreaming of creating cartoons. Now, he has been named “one of architecture’s biggest stars” by The Wall Street Journal. BIG TIME follows Bjarke during th course of 5 years (2011-2016), while he struggles to finish his biggest project so far. We are let into Bjarke’s creative processes as well as the endless compromises that his work entails, and we are on the side when his personal life starts putting pressure on him, too. Bjarke Ingels’ company Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has been given the task of designing and building one of the skyscrapers, which will replace the Twin Towers, which collapsed on the 11th of September 2001 in Manhattan. While Bjarke is creating a building, which will change the New York skyline, he is hit by health-related issues. The Film offers an intimate look into the innovative and ambitious Danish architect, whom the entire world is celebrating as a genius.


The director Kaspar Astrup Schröder describes the film and his work with Bjarke Ingels: “It has been a challenge to keep up with everything going on with Bjarke and his company. While doing so, I discovered how much pressure Bjarke was under. It was as if he had put himself in the driver’s seat in a train, which could never stop, and now he had to lay the tracks while managing the steering wheel. Then, some health-related issues arose, and the pressure became even bigger - that’s when I started feeling that the film had the potential of becoming even more universal. That it didn’t “only” have the potential of conveying interesting architecture as well as the fascinating brain behind all of it, but it could also paint the greater picture of the modern man and the choices, he has to make in order to find happiness. A picture of how the little things in life - close relations, love and health - might be more important than we presume.”

Nov 10, 2017

Recorded live at AFM, in Santa Monica California. Unedited and unscripted Monica speaks to - Chairperson Mako TANAKA of Japan Film Commission. 

She explains a bit about filming in the lovely country of Japan. Here is a message from Mako



Though the role of Chairman of Japan Film Commission is a great challenge for me, I hope that my experience as Vice-Chairman of the organization as well as board director of organizations such as AFCI (Association of Film Commissioners International) and AFCNet (Asian Film Commissions Network) will enable me to contribute to the development of the organization.

If you are interested in filming in Japan, our members, comprised of over 100 regional film commissions and governments, will be happy to assist you in finding the best locations and support for your project. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions regarding shooting in Japan.

Film in Japan, start here!

Japan Film Commission


Nov 5, 2017

Recorded live at the American Film Market in Santa Monica, California @ Lowes Hotel and poolside with Documentary Filmmaker Jeff Witzeman.

Please visit his website and trailer

The cancer can be killed website is a place to affirm everything we know about cancer, how it can be killed, but also its place in this world, why it exists and what it hopes to teach us.

There are a million ways to kill cancer, non-toxically, and I hope to show that through film and data. The film releasing summer of 2017 is a good start and gives you the basic information you need to recover. At the heart, cancer is something that grows as a result of an imbalance. Restore the body to balance and cancer ceases to exist. The key to killing cancer, as with any disease is the immune system. Cancer frequently grows because of a compromised immune system. Chemotherapy, radiation, radical surgery the three main western medical treatment options, are all flawed because they compromise the immune system further without ever getting at the root of the problem. There are however, ways to strengthen the immune system making it fully capable to kill the cancer. Then in many cases, heat (hyperthermia), Oxygen (Ozone therapy), and Freezing (Cryoablation) can be used to apply the coup de grace.

There is no one answer or guru out there. There are a lot of ideas on what causes cancer and how to kill it and I welcome all of them. Ultimately it’s up to each patient to go on the journey, the spiritual quest to find out what caused their imbalance both physically and emotionally, and then right the ship. To that end I want to give you as much information as I can to help with your solution.

Western medicine is very good at testing and lab results. It is possible to use what we have to test the blood and urine for micronutrients, metals, toxins and hormones. Often we can find the imbalances and then correct them with supplements or if necessary minor surgeries or temporary pharmaceuticals.

Western medicine is horrible however at cancer treatment options and has a horrendous track record.  There are a lot of reasons for this, but it all comes down to money. As long as you understand that only drugs are tested for treatment solutions in this and many countries, not natural products because there is no patent to be secured, then you can see through the smokescreen of academia and pseudo-science. Everyone wants to protect their massive profits and if it was revealed that Vitamin C infusions, and Laetrile killed cancer . . . well, someone wouldn’t be able to get that 5th vacation home. A real scientist tests all possible options for a scientific result, not just the ones that make millions for the CEO’s and the shareholders.

Finally, if you can get past all the fear and terror of cancer, it’s really not a “bad” thing. Cancer is just a symptom of an imbalance somewhere, whether it be the food we eat, a part of our body that is out of synch, or chemicals produced from trapped emotions. So if looked at from one angle, cancer is actually there to help us get back in harmony with the universe. This is the good stuff. Hopefully we can all help each other find this harmony and contribute to the beautiful world we’ve been given.

As for me, I’m just a guy on the path trying to figure things out, like many of you. I’m not biased, I only want what works. And for me, “works” means something that doesn’t hurt the body or have dangerous side effects. My background is in acting, music (Jeff Witzeman & The Jealous Housewives) and writing. My father was an anesthesiologist so I feel like I got a window into the world of western medicine, both good and bad.

Nothing will change in terms of the bullying and atrocities that go on out there in the name of cancer treatment until we say they have to. To that end I hope you sign the petition to start forcing Congress to vote on medical freedom options. Thank you for your participation.

Nov 5, 2017

Recorded live in Santa Monica, California poolside at the Lowes Hotel. The American Film Market draws companies from all over the world. 

Monica speaks to Val Kupeev who is representing the Russian Film Commission at the American Film Market. He will be giving a presentation "Myths and Reality of Filming in Russian Event at AFM Studio on Nov 5th. 


Russian Office of Film Commissions



Nov 5, 2017

Recorded live in Santa Monica poolside at the Lowe Hotel during AFM2017- unedited conversation with David Risotto - filmmaker.

His film is a true story of a courageous boy who becomes a legend. Living a dream that wouldn't die; his passion empowered him to historically change the course of baseball. Facing challenges on every front he conquers all with his belief and determination; a true hero. A life changing story!

About David:

DAVID RISOTTO – Executive Producer/Director, As a USPA (United States Powerlifting Association) 3 time Gold Metal winner, Mr. Risotto also holds 3 World records in his age and weight class.

Mr. Risotto’s dedicates himself and puts 100% into everything he does. Mr. Risotto has 25 years managerial experience, has a degree in Arts and Science and has 30 years experience in the entertainment industry as an actor, writer, director, editor and producer.

He has worked at Fox in the Post Production Accounting Department where he learned Production Accounting and Budgeting. He wrote, co-directed, produced and starred in his first film, “Giving Up the Ghost” which was sold in the foreign market. Mr. Risotto has since written and directed "ONE PARTICULAR SUNDAY” and has DP’d, Produced and help Direct several Award winning Shorts and feature films.

He has also written several scripts that he plans to produce through DA-COR PICTURES, LLC. Mr. Risotto has Written, Produced and Directed a documentary about the first Deaf Major League Baseball Player, William “Dummy” Hoy who played from 1886 to 1903 and who introduced the hand signal for STRIKE and BALL which are still used today.

The documentary has been recognized by as one of the top ten indie baseball films to see. The Cincinnati Reds have also recognized the film as an inspirational film and is using it as a promotional video in their Hall of Fame to honor Dummy Hoy. Other teams such as the Philly’s have used it to help promote Deaf Awareness Day at their stadium. The Documentary aired on the Documentary Channel back in June 2009.

David is now going forward to make more films. His passion about Dummy Hoy is inspiring as he goes forth to produce the feature.

Oct 23, 2017

Monica speaks to Director Sean Meehan about his film Lost Face

Sean Meehan’s Lost Face has been making a mark around the world, having won at many prestigious film festivals including Edmonton International Film Festival, Calgary International Film Festival and Palm Springs International Shortfest. This award-winning short is based on Jack London’s short story and stars Gerald Auger (Hell on Wheels), Martin Dubreuil (Felix Et Meira) and Morris Birdyellowhead (Apocalypto).

In mid-1800’s Russian America, Subienkow finds himself the second-to-last survivor of a group of Russian fur-thieves who have just been defeated by liberators from the local tribe they have enslaved as forced labour.  Now Subienkow faces a long, protracted and painful death unless he can come up with a plan for escape. 

Subienkow calls over the tribe’s chief, Makamuk, and he begins to bargain… 

Writer and Director Sean Meehan fell in love with Jack London’s short story Lost Face as a teenager and as an adult, adapted it into a screen play. He hopes this wonderful story may spark some conversations about current indigenous issues. Sean is an award winning commercial director, having worked with many high profile clients for over a decade, he created the cinematography and this exciting drama is his first short film.

Producer Sam McGarry is an industry veteran, having been in the business for almost thirty years. She started out at Great Southern Films and transitioned from Production Assistant to Producer. Commercials Sam has produced have won every award worth winning, from Cannes Lions to LIA trophies to One Show pencils.

Gerald Auger is of Woodland Cree descent, his work includes Il mio West, Dreamkeeper and Into the West. Morris Birdyellowhead is a direct descendant of the hereditary Chief David Bird Yellowhead. His credits include ElijahHell on Wheels and DiabloMartin Dubreuil’s work includes 15 février 1839 and Tout est parfait and the music was created by Elliott Wheeler.

Oct 18, 2017

Monica speaks to Actor Alexander Bedria’s about his directorial debut The Zim, which he also wrote, took home the top prize when it recently premiered at LA Shorts International Film Festival. Almost 300 shorts were in contention for the award. 

The Zim is the story of one man’s struggle to protect his farm and loved ones from a violent land invasion. Inspired by true events that occurred during the controversial Zimbabwean land seizures in the early 2000’s, The Zim follows the story of farmer Daniel Silva (Alexander Bedria) who must decide between fleeing the country or standing his ground. William Zimunya (native Zimbabwean Tongayi Chirisa), his farmhand, is torn between loyalty to his lifelong friend and fear of the powerful men who lead the charge to invade the farm.

“I was inspired by the men and women who endured extraordinary hardship, yet never lost their humanity. I hope the film honors them,” said writer/director Alexander Bedria who nearly five years researching, developing and crowdfunding the film.

As an actor, Bedria has displayed considerable range, recently guest starring on the Showtime series Ray Donovan and HBO’s The Newsroom. His acting credits also include: Scandal, Criminal Minds, 90210, CSI: Miami and The Amazing Spider-man.

This drama stars Alexander Bedria (The Newsroom, Ray Donovan), Tongayi Chrisa (iZombie, Gaffigan), Amanda Wing (Sunshine State), Constance Ejuma (Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, 24), Shaun Baker (V.I.P) and Caroline Largerfelt (Gossip Girl).
Sep 29, 2017

Monica speaks to Director Mike Day about his journey and about the passion behind whales and the clash the exists between man and the sea.

Day captures the awesome visual power of the land as sweeping cinematography shows the Faroe Islands shrouded in mist and suspended in time. The film gains impressive access to the community, which proves particularly advantageous for obtaining footage of the whale hunt. The immersive aural tracks let the wind blow and the birds squawk as the film depicts a land worth preserving. The soundtrack affords a sense of being present on the Faroe Islands and right in the thick of the fight. – Point of View Magazine

THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES has its national broadcast premiere on the PBS documentary series POV (Point of View) on Monday, October 9, 2017 (check local listings). POV is American television’s longest-running independent documentary series, now in its 30th season.

About the filmmaker:
Mike Day is a Scottish director and cinematographer. His debut film THE GUGA HUNTERS OF NESS screened on the BBC in 2011 and at festivals internationally. Formerly a lawyer, Mikefounded Intrepid Cinema in 2009 before setting sail into the North Atlantic to document the last Scottish ten seabird hunters on their traditional annual gannet hunt in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. This was the first time since 1959 that the hunters had allowed this tradition to be filmed. After two weeks at sea the crew returned home with a rare glimpse into the world of the Sula Sgeir hunters.

The Islands and the Whales was funded by Sundance Institute, Creative Scotland, The Filmmaker Fund, San Francisco Film Society, Wellcome Trust, Creative Europe, Influence Film Foundation, DR, and the Factum Foundation and the sound post production was at Skywalker Sound.

Mike was listed as one of 10 filmmakers to watch in 2012 by Independent Filmmaker Magazine. He was also one of the EDNs ’12 for the Future’, and attended the 2014 Sundance Fellows program and lab.

Director/Producer:                                          Mike Day
Co-Producer:                                                 Stefan Frost, Henrik Underbjerg
Executive Producers:                                    John Atkinson, Niall Christie, Matt Day,
                                        David Eckles, Leslie Finlay, Minette Nelson, Phillip Noran
Editors:                                                          Mike Day, Nicole Hálová, Mary Lampson

* * * *
Produced by American Documentary, Inc., POV is public television’s premier showcase for nonfiction films. Since 1988, POV has been the home for the world’s boldest contemporary filmmakers, celebrating intriguing personal stories that spark conversation and inspire action. Always an innovator, POV discovers fresh new voices and creates interactive experiences that shine a light on social issues and elevate the art of storytelling. With our documentary broadcasts, original online programming and dynamic community engagement campaigns, we are committed to supporting films that capture the imagination and present diverse perspectives.

POV films have won 36 Emmy® Awards, 19 George Foster Peabody Awards, 12 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards®, the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award and the Prix Italia. The POV series has been honored with a Special News & Documentary Emmy Award for Excellence in Television Documentary Filmmaking, three IDA Awards for Best Curated Series and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers Award for Corporate Commitment to Diversity. Learn more at

POV Community Engagement and Education (
POV’s Community Engagement and Education team works with educators, community organizations and PBS stations to present more than 650 free screenings every year. In addition, we distribute free discussion guides and standards-aligned lesson plans for each of our films. With our community partners, we inspire dialogue around the most important social issues of our time.

POV Digital (
Since 1994, POV Digital has driven new storytelling initiatives and interactive production for POV. The department created PBS’s first program website and its first web-based documentary (POV’s Borders) and has won major awards, including a Webby Award (and six nominations) and an Online News Association Award. POV Digital continues to explore the future of independent nonfiction media through its digital productions and the POV Hackathon lab, where media makers and technologists collaborate to reinvent storytelling forms. @povdocs on Twitter.

American Documentary, Inc. (
American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.

Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Wyncote Foundation. Additional funding comes from Nancy Blachman and David desJardins, Bertha Foundation, The Fledgling Fund, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Open Society Foundations, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.

In THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES (DOC NYC Grand Jury Prize, Hot Docs Emerging International Filmmaker Award), Scottish filmmaker Mike Day lets his camera swoop down on the majestic beauty of the emerald green, rocky North Atlantic Faroe Islands, where its people have survived on pilot whales and seabirds for centuries. The whales are plentiful, far from extinct, but they are sadly poisoned by pollutants. As a result local children are showing high levels of mercury, while international anti-whaling activists are imploring – even threatening – the locals to find alternatives.

While hunting whales and seabirds kept them alive for generations, local professor Dr. Pal Weihe makes a grim discovery about the effects of marine pollution. He takes on the onerous task of asking his fellow Islanders to change not just a tradition, but a way of life. The same global environmental forces that have brought the devastating pollutants have also brought the fiercest interventionists. What happens when fishermen spears come up against an internationally funded activist vessel becomes a precursor for an even more troubling confrontation.

Day came upon the Faroe Islands while shooting his previous film THE GUGA HUNTERS OF NESS (2011), a BBC documentary about a Scottish island community embarking on their epic annual seabird hunt in the treacherous North Atlantic. Like the Faroese, the hunting practices of the Ness community are deeply rooted in their society and culture.
With a keen eye for the natural beauty on these remote islands and a deep respect for their traditions, Day zooms in on climate change and pollution, which the islanders in both films find themselves battling in ways that people on the mainland are not yet forced to.

Sep 22, 2017

Bridget Higgins currently leads the Aloft Hotels brand at Marriott International. Bridget is the GLOBAL BRAND LEADER. She speaks to Monica about the exciting Aloft Hotels Brand and emerging artists. 

About Aloft Hotels

With more than 125 hotels now open in nearly 20 countries and territories around the world, Aloft Hotels, part of Marriott International, Inc., delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape. For the ‘always on’ next generation of traveler, the Aloft brand offers a tech-forward, vibrant experience and a modern style that is different by design. Aloft is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest®. Members can now link accounts with Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® at for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. For more information, please visit and follow along on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.


Live At Aloft Hotels Tour Dates Highlights

  • Rachel Crow, Aloft Miami Doral, Friday August 18
  • ZZ WARD, Aloft Seattle Redmond, Wednesday August 30
  • MAX, Aloft Dallas Downtown, Friday October 20
  • Drake White, Aloft Philadelphia Downtown, Tuesday October 24
  • Magic Giant, Aloft Denver Downtown, Monday November 13

 For a complete and up-to-date list of all performances, please visit

PROJECT: Aloft Star Competition


Aloft also announces the 8th annual Project: Aloft Star Competition giving up-and-coming musicians a chance to be mentored by Grammy-nominated, multiplatinum-selling artist Gavin DeGraw

What You Win

Two finalists will be personally mentored by Grammy-nominated, multiplatinum-selling artist Gavin DeGraw, and will perform for key music industry insiders including Mike Easterlin, President of Fueled By Ramen and Roadrunner Records and Danny Bush, Senior Vice President of Promotion and Artist Development at RED Distribution on November 7. The winner will be named that evening and offered the opportunity to perform live as part of the 2018 Live At Aloft Hotels Tour.

The Project Aloft Star competition is already underway in the Asia-Pacific region in partnership with MTV, and will also be rolled out in Europe and the Middle East later this year.


All 2017 Live At Aloft Hotels Tour performances have no cover charge and are open to hotel guests and music-loving locals alike. For a complete and up-to-date list of all performances, please visit and join the conversation by connecting with Aloft Hotels on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #AloftLive.

Live at Aloft Hotels

Live at Aloft Hotels, showcases emerging music talents, including those discovered through Aloft’s global talent search competition, Project: Aloft Star. The popular acoustic sets showcase emerging talent with live, intimate performances in W XYZ bars at Aloft Hotels and unscripted backstage moments. Artists will receive the opportunity to showcase their new songs in all Aloft public spaces through state-of-the-art sound systems, feature their music video in Aloft re:mix public lounges and offer download cards to guests, who can easily download and listen to an artist’s album. This year, the tour will be spotlighting talent in major cities around the US including Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles, Nashville, Dallas, Portland, Philadelphia and Denver.

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