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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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.

Sep 12, 2017

Director/Editor Sam Pollard speaks openly to Monica about his passion and filmmaking. His passion is expressed about the iconic Sammy Davis Jr. 

American Masters Pictures proudly presents - SAMMY DAVIS, JR: I'VE GOTTA BE ME -  the new documentary from legendary award-winning filmmaker Sam Pollard that brings an intimate, in depth and candid look into the life of one of our most groundbreaking and iconic performers in the world, Mr. Sammy Davis, Jr. 

Premiering at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, this moving and compelling film lets viewers see the highs and lows of this extraordinary man as he reached out to accomplish his goals to entertain the world, while people and situations continued to try and hold him down. His life and his legacy has never been documented in a feature film before now. We encourage your coverage on this compelling film and prolific filmmaker Sam Pollard. Please find below more information on the film including screening dates and times.

SAM POLLARD is an accomplished feature film and television video editor, and documentary producer/director whose work spans almost 30 years. His first assignment as a documentary producer came in 1989 for Henry Hampton's Blackside production Eyes On The Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads . For one of his episodes in this series, he received an Emmy. Eight years later, he returned to Blackside as co-executive producer/producer of Hampton’s last documentary series, I'll Make Me A World: Stories of African-American Artists and Community. For the series, Pollard received a Peabody Award.


Jul 21, 2017

Kavi speaks to Monica about his new film "The Black Prince" as a storyteller it's one that is close to his heart. Opens nationwide July 21st.

Kavi Raz is an Indian-born British actor, writer, director and producer. Born in Punjab, Raz left India at a young age for the United Kingdom, where he grew up. He acquired national prominence as an exceptional hockey player in the Midlands.

He attended university in the San Francisco Bay area. Raz was a founder and artistic director of the Wandering Players' Theatre Company. The company staged several World and US premieres of plays from India. Western audiences were exposed to the works of Rabindranath Tagore for the first time, in addition to plays like Sakharam Binder and Shakuntala. This was the first professional South Asian theatre company in the USA.

In the mid-1970s, Raz arrived in Hollywood: a career as an actor was unheard of at a time when roles for South Asian actors in Hollywood television shows and films were limited. Raz had been quoted: “People, especially friends and relatives scoffed at the idea of my becoming an actor. They thought it was a passing fancy and would soon be over. But no, I had a dream and take what it may I journeyed on to make my dream a reality.”

He became the first ever South Asian actor to be signed on as a regular in a major TV series, St Elsewhere. He was a cast member for the first two seasons of the medical drama, and after being let go continued to appear on a recurring basis.

Raz has appeared in over 200 plays, TV shows and films, including guest appearances on The A-TeamM*A*S*H and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

In 1978, Raz founded the production company, K. R. Films Hollywood. Its debut, Lehren - a television weekly variety series for the Asian audience - was shown throughout the United States and Canada. In 1988, K. R. Studios was built in Granada Hills. Housing several buildings including the main studio, it has state-of-art equipment for film and television productions, as well as a multi-track recording facility for post production and recording needs. The studio is now home to many award-winning producers, writers and directors engaged in the production of commercials, TV programmes, music videos and films.

Jul 21, 2017

Sammy Chand speaks to Monica about his roots, his heritage and his music.

Sammy has transformed both the musical landscape and the South Asian community with a storied career spanning over two decades. In 1996, he laid the foundation for Rukus Avenue, as an independent record label and platform for an emerging scene of South Asian musicians in North America. This seminal company was at the forefront of a community-driven movement to establish a new identity for South-Asian Americans, that were charged with the task of reconciling traditional cultural values with American ones.

Throughout his career, Chand and his music have built a formidable bond with the film and television community. His notable placements include CBS News, PBS, The Oprah Winfrey Show, America’s Most Wanted, Leela, So You Think You Can Dance?, Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and the Weather Channel’s Storm Riders. In 2008, he partnered with the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles to bring a live musical component to the festival that would properly articulate the intimate relationship between music and film in Indian Cinema. The IFFLA Rhythm Village and IFFLA Rhythm Village Unplugged under his direction, have become highly popular additions to the annual festival.

View Sammy Chand’s Discography Here

Jul 4, 2017
Director Timothy Woodward Jr. speaks to Monica about his new film "Hickok"  about Wild Bill Hickok.
In the hopes of escaping his past as a notorious outlaw, "Wild Bill" Hickok seeks redemption as a small town lawman.  Unfortunately, as the titular gunslinger discovers, the past has a way of catching up with you in HICKOK, a frontier thriller starring Luke Hemsworth ("Westworld") in his first leading role in a feature film; the period Western from Cinedigm and Status Media also stars Trace Adkins (Stagecoach, Traded, Deepwater Horizon), Country Music Hall of Famer and Golden Globe®-winner Kris Kristofferson (Traded, A Star is Born, Blade, Billy the Kid) and Oscar®-nominee Bruce Dern(The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained, Nebraska).  On July 7HICKOKopens theatrically in eleven markets including Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Denver, Detroit, Seattle, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Minneapolis, Portland, Oregon, Kansas City and Austin; and, day-and-date, it will also be available on demand and Digital HD.
The story of the West's most notorious gunslinger and his road to redemption, HICKOK finds the infamous, hard-drinking outlaw (Hemsworth) in 1870's Abilene, Kansas, seeking to start a new life.  Captivated by Wild Bill's unparalleled gun skills, the mayor, George Knox, (Kristofferson) quickly ropes him in as the town marshal.  Recognizing the need to clamp down on the wildest cow-town in the west, Hickok soon finds himself at the center of a controversial ordinance while dispensing his own brand of frontier justice.  His attempts to protect Abilene, however, are quickly challenged by a band of outlaws led by powerful saloon owner, Phil Poe (Adkins).  And when Poe places a bounty on Wild Bill's head, the marshal, with the help of outlaw turned lawman John Wesley Hardin, makes a stand for Abilene and his new life, while putting his reputation as the fastest draw in the west on the line.
HICKOK is a Status Media & Entertainment production.  The film was produced by Timothy Woodward Jr., Lauren de Normandie, Henry Penzi and Chris Nicoletti.  Benjamin Gerry, J.D. Seraphine, Kirk Peterson and Eric Peterson are executive producers.
Opening Theatrically on July 7 in Top Markets Including Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston, the Action-Packed Story of the West's Most Notorious Gunslinger and His Road to Redemption Will Also Be Available 
Day-and-Date On Demand & Digital HD
Los Angeles -- Laemmle Music Hall
Chicago -- AMC Woodridge 18
Houston -- AMC Gulf Pointe 30
Denver -- AMC Highlands Ranch
Seattle -- Monroe 12
Detroit -- Emagine Canton 18
Minneapolis -- White Bear 17
Tampa/St. Petersburg -- AMC Woodlands Square
Portland, OR -- Darkside Cinema (Corvallis)
Kansas City -- AMC Town Center 20
Austin -- Galaxy Highland 10
Jun 16, 2017

Filmmaker Gabi Hayes speaks to Monica about their new documentary  "Skid Row Marathon"

Skid Row Marathon is a feature length documentary that follows Judge Craig Mitchell and his running club as they prepare for a variety of running events including the Accra International Marathon in Ghana, the LA Marathon and the Rome Marathon. Many of the club members have been living on the streets or in homeless shelters for significant periods of time. They’ve lost everything - their homes, their jobs, their families and relationships. As they run with the Judge, they struggle with their demons and attempt to regain their self-esteem and self-sufficiency. Not everyone succeeds.



SATURDAY, JUNE 17, 2017 - 12:00 PM

ArcLight Santa Monica 8
Jun 6, 2017

ALL THE RAGE, a new documentary, explores the connection between emotions and health, by chronicling the work of renowned physician Dr. John Sarno and his radical methods of treating chronic pain, the greatest crisis in American healthcare system.

Monica speaks to Director Michael Galinsky and Co-Director Suki Galinsky about their explosive documentary All The Rage. A wonderful and candid conversation about the state of health care and society norms or discomfort with new ideas.

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS: An award-winning independent film studio, RUMUR collaborates with high profile clients like HBO, A&E, ESPN, MSNBC, DIRECTV, PBS, and to create critically acclaimed, documentary films. Their work has been shortlisted for the Academy Awards and screened at the top film festivals around the world. As the lines between film, television, and the web continue to blend together, RUMUR integrates its productions across multiple platforms, starting at the early development stages through final product and distribution.

RUMUR is a collaborative between partners Michael Galinsky, Suki Hawley and David Beilinson that has produced seven feature length films and documentaries, two of which were short-listed for the Academy Award. Their first doc “Horns and Halos” was shortlisted in 2003, and it went on to win numerous awards. In 2011, Their feature Battle for Brooklyn was shortlisted for the Oscar. In 2013, Michael received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. The 2015 special, “The Sweat Solution”, chronicling the origin of Gatorade, is part of ESPN’s acclaimed 30 for 30 series. Their latest film Who Took Johnny, about the first missing child on a milk carton, is currently airing on Netflix. They are currently in production on several feature docs.

Official Movie Website:

Official Facebook Page:

Tickets and Showtimes:

May 25, 2017

Director Stan Jacobs speaks to Monica about his new film 96 Souls. He speaks about his passion for indie filmmaking.


It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.

-- A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859)


96 Souls 

A lab accident changes the routine life of biochemistry professor Jack Sutree. He's left with the ability to see fragrances flowing off organic substances. When he looks at a person he sees an alternate vision of their true self. Jack and his predoctoral candidate, Ram, struggle to understand these visions.

Jack encounters a homeless musician, named Bazemint, and is taken by a haunting vision and music associated with her. He determines Bazemint is his best chance at understanding the phenomenon.

Dr. Redfield, a university Regent with strong ties to the pharmaceutical industry, gets wind of Jack's discovery and wants it for developing new psychoactive drugs.  He confronts Jack, Bazemint and Ram resulting in a surprise discovery and Jack redirecting his life.  

The film will open theatrically in select theaters on May 26.  Gravitas Ventures will release the film on VOD and across all other digital platforms on May 30, 2017.

For more information and to view the trailer, go to:

The film is opening in the following markets on May 26 and on VOD on May 30


Los Angeles

Laemmle Music Hall


AMC Liberty Tree Mall


AMC Cherry Hill


AMC South Barrington


AMC Grapevine Mills


AMC Studio 30


AMC Southlake Pavilion


AMC Universal Cineplex


AMC Veterans

Kansas City

AMC Studio 28

May 23, 2017


Melissa Kent is well known in the industry as a highly respected film editor, her impressive filmography includes The Age of Adaline, The Virgin Suicides, and American Pastoral starring Ewan McGregor. Now Kent’s work in her directorial debut Bernie and Rebecca is turning heads with multiple awards and nominations. This prestigious film has been selected for the Oscar-qualifying Cleveland International Film Festival.

After a blind date, Bernie and Rebecca imagine a future life together, but it's not the perfect marriage with angelic kids, a big house and white picket fence...

Kyle Davis (Dexter/Enlisted) stars as Bernie and Brianna Barnes (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Rebecca, with both of their performances nominated at the International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema in Berlin. The music was composed by David Carbonara (Mad Men), cinematography is by Nicole Whitaker (Homeland) and the sound was designed by Christopher S. Aud (Mad Max: Fury Road, Neighbors). Kent produced alongside Mary Pat Bentel (Animals, Goodbye World).

Until now Melissa Kent has made her career as a feature film editor, most recently on Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut, American Pastoral, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Philip Roth, starring McGregor, Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning. Previous editing credits include; The Vow, Four Christmases, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, Just Wright, Something New, A Raisin in the Sun, and crazy/beautiful.

Bernie and Rebecca continues its successful run on the festival circuit having won the following awards; Best Comedy at Hawaii International Film Festival, Best Romantic Comedy at Northern Virginia International Film Festival, Best Romantic Comedy at Go West Fest, Best Director at Glendale International Film Festival, Jury Award at Catalina Film Festival, Award of Excellence Special Mention at Indiefest Film Awards, Award of Excellence Special Mention and Award of Excellence: Editing at Indiefest Film Awards.

May 16, 2017

Female producer, Saleah Smith, who has worked on award-winning films and television shows including Evil Lives Here and My Dirty Little Secret speaks with Monica about producing films. Fellow producer of The Foster Portfolio, Joel Pincosy, is another award-winner, whose short films have screened at festivals across the US. 

Based on the original short story by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., The Foster Portfolio is an offbeat, mid-century tale about a rookie investment counselor who discovers that his penniless client is hiding a million-dollar inheritance in order to conceal a strange, double life.

In the role of Jim Crane is Roe Hartrampf, known for his work in Romeo Vs. Juliet, Broker, and A Good Marriage. His television credits include Boardwalk Empire, Elementary and Blue Bloods. Joel Nagle, playing Herbert Foster, is also no stranger to the screen, known for his work in Spike Lee’s Oscar nominated Do the Right Thing, We Are What We Are and Palimpsest. Rounding off the talented cast is Rebecca Watson whose extensive screen credits include HBO’s The Normal Heart, Hulu’s Difficult People, Showtime’s The Big C, Starz’ Flesh and Bone, NBC’s Deception and Law & Order.  

May 16, 2017

Award-winning director, Danielle Katvan, has had her films selected by numerous respected film festivals including the Tribeca Film Festival, Palm Springs ShortFest, and San Francisco International Film Festival, with her work also being featured on MTV, NBC Universal and VH1. Her short film, Stranger Things, was the recipient of an award from Kodak for Excellence in the Craft of Filmmaking, and she was both named one of Film News Briefs ‘Filmmakers to Watch’ and selected as a finalist in the 2016 HBO Access Directing Fellowship. 

Joining forces with female director, Katvan, is female producer, Saleah Smith, who has worked on award-winning films and television shows including Evil Lives Here and My Dirty Little Secret. Fellow producer of The Foster Portfolio, Joel Pincosy, is another award-winner, whose short films have screened at festivals across the US. 

In the role of Jim Crane is Roe Hartrampf, known for his work in Romeo Vs. Juliet, Broker, and A Good Marriage. His television credits include Boardwalk Empire, Elementary and Blue Bloods. Joel Nagle, playing Herbert Foster, is also no stranger to the screen, known for his work in Spike Lee’s Oscar nominated Do the Right Thing, We Are What We Are and Palimpsest. Rounding off the talented cast is Rebecca Watson whose extensive screen credits include HBO’s The Normal Heart, Hulu’s Difficult People, Showtime’s The Big C, Starz’ Flesh and Bone, NBC’s Deception and Law & Order.  

Kurt Vonnegut adaptation of “The Foster Portfolio” premiered at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival



Apr 25, 2017

Two time Oscar winner, Paul Franklin’s directorial debut “The Escape” premieres at Tribeca Film Festival


Director Paul Franklin’s “The Escape” will receive its world premiere on April 20th at the Tribeca film festival, and stars Julian Sands [A Room with a View, The Killing Fields], Art Malik [True Lies, Sherlock], Olivia Williams [The Sixth Sense, An Education] and Ben Miller [Death in Paradise, Johnny English].

Paul Franklin’s career as a filmmaker began as an art school student, working with friends to make short films. Paul is best known for a long-running collaboration with director Christopher Nolan, working on the Dark Knight Trilogy as well as Inception and Interstellar, both of which brought him Academy Awards. Since 2014, Paul has served as Double Negative’s Creative Director.

Paul is now using his experience of cutting edge filmmaking to tell the stories that are important to him. Paul recently completed his first short film as writer/director, The Escape, starring Julian Sands, Art Malik and Olivia Williams.

The Escape’ premieres at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on April 20th.

Apr 14, 2017

Director Ryan Suffern speaks candidly with Monica about his journey into filmmaking and working with legendary Steven Spielberg. Listen to his inspirational story.


In October of 1982, amid Guatemala’s 30-year civil war, guerillas in the north ambush a convoy of Guatemalan soldiers, making off with roughly 20 rifles. This is seen as a humiliating defeat for the military, and in retaliation, two dozen army commandos — an elite squad known as Kaibiles, many of whom were trained by U.S. forces — dress up as guerilla soldiers and invade the jungle hamlet of Dos Erres. The attack takes place two days after President Reagan endorses Guatemalan general Ríos Montt. The Kaibiles kill everyone in their wake, dumping bodies of over 200 victims, the majority of whom were women and children, into the village well. A search reveals no weapons, including the missing rifles, are not found in Dos Erres.

Finding Oscar follows the stories of two little boys, Oscar and Ramiro, who were abducted during the genocide in Dos Erres and raised by the very soldiers who murdered their families. These boys offer the only living evidence that ties the Guatemalan government and the Kaibiles to the massacre. Documentarian Ryan Suffern follows the men and women who have spent nearly three decades looking for answers — from the human-rights worker Aura Elena Fárfan, who was the first to hear the story of Dos Erres, to the forensic anthropologist Fredy Peccerelli, who works relentlessly to identify victims and contact their families in search for justice. Finding Oscar tracks the dangerous journey of the rookie Guatemalan prosecutor Sara Romero, who took on her own government, and the U.S. immigration agents who followed the trail of evidence and began rounding up the war criminals they found living in the states. In a country built on impunity, this dedicated team continues to seek justice to this day, uncovering truths more significant than anyone could have imagined.

Finding Oscar is directed and produced by Ryan Suffern, with Frank Marshall (The Color Purple, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Sully, The BFG) as producer and Steven Spielberg as Executive Producer.
FINDING OSCAR opens in theaters as follows:




And Other Cities After
FINDING OSCAR opens in the following Los Angeles/Southern California theaters on April 21, 2017

Laemmle’s Monica Film Center – Santa Monica, CA

Laemmle’s Playhouse Pasadena – Pasadena, CA

Regal University Town Center 6 – Irvine, CA

Laemmle’s Claremont 5 – (April 22-23 ONLY) – Claremont, CA

Mar 24, 2017
Joan Kron, veteran journalist, spent the past 25 years as contributing editor-at-large at Allure magazine where she covered the hot topics of cosmetic dermatology and plastic surgery. Prior to Allure, she held senior editorial positions at New York Magazine, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Avenue Magazine. Kron is known for her books and numerous articles and commentary on design, beauty and plastic surgery.  And now at the age of 89 years old, she has embarked on a new career as a documentary filmmaker. More than 15 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the US in 2014.  And 90% of them on were done on women. Yet, for those who elect to tinker with Mother Nature, especially for high-profile women, plastic surgery is still a very dark secret.  Funny women, though, are the exception.  From Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers to Roseanne Barr and Kathy Griffin, comedians have been unashamed to talk about their perceived flaws, and the steps taken to remedy them. For these dames, cosmetic surgery isn’t vanity, it is affirmative action – compensation for the unfair distribution of youthfulness and beauty.

By admitting what their sisters in drama deny, comic performers speak to women who feel the same pressures, giving them permission to pursue change (or not to) while entertaining us.

TAKE MY NOSE PLEASE follows two comedians as they deliberate about going under the knife. Emily Askin, an up-and coming improv performer, has always wanted her nose refined. Jackie Hoffman, a seasoned headliner on Broadway and on TV, considers herself ugly and regrets not having the nose job offered in her teens. And maybe she’d like a face-lift, as well. As we follow their surprisingly emotional stories, we meet other who have taken the leap - or held out. Putting it all in perspective are psychologists, sociologists, the medical community and cultural critics. And for comic relief and the profundity only comedians can supply.  The film includes commentary from Roseanne Barr, Phyllis Diller, the late Joan Rivers,Judy Gold, Julie Halston, Lisa Lampanelli, Giulia Rozzi, Bill Scheft, and Adrianne Tolsch.
Feb 15, 2017
Katie Cleary, the creator and producer of the award-winning documentary Give Me Shelter (, which originally premiered on Netflix in 2015, arrives at Sundance Film Festival with news that pre-production has begun on We Are One. Cleary is again serving as creator and producer of We Are One and will appear in the film. Give Me Shelter, which powerfully and effectively raises awareness on some of the most important animal welfare issues in the world, also shines a much-deserved light on the people who dedicate their lives every day to rescue, rehabilitate or care for these animals while being a voice for the voiceless. Oscar Winner Ric O'Barry, perhaps best known for his work on The Cove, stars in the film along with such other notable animal advocates as Tippi Hedren, Alison Eastwood, Esai Morales, Michael Vartan and Robert Davi. More Give Me Shelter news will be announced in the near future regarding a new deal with another major network. During Sundance Film Festival 2017, Cleary is also moderating a panel for Condition One VR. On Friday, Jan 20th, Cleary is joining Condition One at the launch of its latest virtual reality experience, Operation Aspen, taking place at its spacious loft on Main Street that is equipped with 50 VR headsets. Following the world premiere of Operation Aspen, which transports audiences to witness the nightmarish conditions inside a Californian factory farm that houses thousands of egg-laying hens, Cleary is moderating a Q&A with Director and Condition One Founder Danfung Dennis and Wayne Hsiung, Founder of Direct Action Everywhere. The evening’s event begins at 5:30pm at the Condition One VR Loft located at 580 Main Street in Park City. “I am thrilled to moderate this important panel and to support the efforts of Condition One, a technology company that is known for creating powerful VR experiences with a conscience,” added Cleary. “This is yet another example of how animal welfare activists work together to bring these horrific yet true stories to a worldwide audience.” Cleary, who first rose to fame on the hit TV show America’s Next Top Model, is also an accomplished actress; most recently landed a co-starring role on the highly-anticipated ABC sitcom American Housewife. Her growing list of credits also include CSI NY, Las Vegas, Entourage, Rules of Engagement, Two and a Half Men and How To Get Away With Murder among others. As an accomplished on-camera host, Cleary has appeared on the TV Guide Channel, E! Entertainment and HDTV.
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