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The Murray Hill Show Takes Place This Saturday At NYC's Gramercy Theatre

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Murray Hill is a legend in the New York nightlife scene, having been actively performing, hosting and living his drag king persona for over a decade.

Known around town as “the hardest working middle-aged man in show business," Murray Hill has a wit and a charm that led him to be dubbed “Downtown’s New ‘It’ Boy" by The New York Times, got him inducted into PAPER's Nightlife Hall of Fame and saw him named one of the top 12 gender-bending performers in NYC by Time Out NY -- just to name a few honors.

Now, Murray Hill is headlining his own show, fittingly called The Murray Hill Show, this Saturday alongside Ad-Rock, Peaches, Bridget Everett, Dirty Martini and Champagne Jerry.

murray hill

"I've been touring and hosting burlesque shows so much," Murray Hill told The Huffington Post, "I wanted to get back to NYC and do my own comedy show on a Saturday night! So I just had to pull out all the stops for this one! It's a show of showbiz closers! These are some of my favorite showbiz pals, and we'll all be together for the first time on stage...so it's gonna be bananas!"

The Murray Hill Show will take place this Saturday, March 8 at 8 p.m. at NYC's Gramercy Theatre. Head here for tickets and more information.

How Unplugging Can Improve Your Life And Save Humanity, As Told By The Movies

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At this point, we've all come to accept that our relationship with technology -- from our mobile devices to our tablets to our computers -- is of the love/hate variety. We love having the ability to connect easily with anyone at any time, but we hate the idea of being tethered to our devices for sustenance, at the expense of actually living in the moment. Fortunately, we have the National Day of Unplugging to help, urging us to put down our phones, computers and tablets for a 24-hour period, from sundown on Friday, March 7 to sundown on Saturday, March 8, so that we can remember what it's like to live a life -- or at least a full day -- without the constant cold comfort of the online world. If the existence of this Sabbath-style holiday, however, isn't enough to make you reconsider the perils of our over-reliance on technology, these movies just might. Here are eight films that illustrate the benefits of unplugging, from improving your quality of life to saving humanity from a technology-driven apocalypse.

That work email can wait

Prada

Unplugging doesn't necessarily mean you have to throw your phone in the garbage (or in the case of "The Devil Wears Prada," a nearby fountain), but it can act as a helpful reminder that not every email, text, tweet and instant message from the office needs an immediate response, especially if you want to retain your sanity and appreciate, you know, the actual world.

Phones are not better than people...

Her

"Her," Spike Jonze's recent film about a man who falls in love with his operating system (which happens to have the voice of Scarlett Johansson), made techno-love look really appealing ... until it wasn't. One of the film's many lessons: it's flesh-and-blood friends that will be there for you when things get tough, not an iPhone.

...and real adventures are better than virtual ones

Mitty

In "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," Ben Stiller's Walter Mitty is the kind of person who sits in his house and refreshes eHarmony. His profile is lacking because he's never really done anything. Naturally, things pick up when he steps away from the computer and outside of his own head and starts having actual adventures. You don't have to fight off a shark in icy, Icelandic waters to make the most of this year's Day of Unplugging, but there are plenty of other ways to be more present in your life that don't put you at risk of being eaten alive.

Intimacy requires an actual interaction

Don Jon

In Joseph Gordon-Levitt's "Don Jon," the title character's entire relationship with the opposite sex is defined by the Internet. It isn't until he's forced to face his intimacy issues that Jon is able to step away from the computer, a good lesson for everyone to heed, if only to further the ability of the human race to procreate.

As does family time

This Is 40

Not everyone wants to unplug, as illustrated by Maude Apatow's awesome meltdown in Judd Apatow's "This Is 40." But sometimes the best family moments happen when we put our screens away.

Because if you surrender to the spell of digital distraction...

walle

The Pixar classic "Wall-E" is a movie about a nice robot who's looking for love... until it becomes a movie about what happens to the human race after we become lazy and complacent and allow our bodies and minds to atrophy. This is the cautionary tale that warned us about Google Glass before Google Glass was even a thing.

... things could end up like this:

T2

As James Cameron's "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" showed us, when technology gets angry at people, that's bad for everyone.

Or worse: like this:

the matrix

Ok, slight exaggeration. There's very little chance we'll all end up inside "The Matrix." Just something to think about. Happy National Day of Unplugging!

Matrix

Watch A Young Cate Blanchett Star In A Very '90s Tim Tam Commercial

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Want proof that Cate Blanchett has always been an amazing actor? Skip "Blue Jasmine" and instead watch this commercial for Tim Tam, in which she's granted a wish and selects a never-ending supply of the popular Australian chocolate biscuit. (It's obviously a Method performance, because who doesn't want a lifelong slate of chocolate biscuits?)

The YouTube clip was uploaded in 2010 but resurfaced this week following Blanchett's Best Actress victory at the Academy Awards. The description indicates that it comes from the mid-'90s, which is believable given Blanchett's frizzy tresses and the fact that it looks like a scene from the 1996 Shaquille O'Neal movie "Kazaam." As Blanchett says in the ad, "What more can you want?"



[h/t BuzzFeed]

Getty Is Making 35 Million Images Free

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Getty Images is making 35 million of its photos free to use.

People are now able to embed the photos — with some exceptions — on their websites and on social media for non-commercial use without a licensing fee. Getty's Craig Peters told the British Journal of Photography that the embedded photo will appear in a frame with copyright information and a link back to Getty's website.

This image, for example, was obtained by searching Getty's archives and grabbing an embed code:



The new move comes as the organization struggles with piracy. "Our content was everywhere already," Peters told the BBC. "If you want to get a Getty image today, you can find it without a watermark very simply."

It is Getty's hope that more people embedding photos — rather than simply using them without permission — will mean that the organization and photographers get proper attribution and users can also buy the photo if they desire. Nieman Journalism Lab noted that Getty could also make money in the future by selling ads in the embed tool.

(h/t The Verge)

So What's It Like To Be A New Orleans College Student During Mardi Gras?

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Party culture is nothing new for college campuses, but schools in the Big Easy take it up a notch. From the elaborate costumes to the sought-after beads, HuffPost Live goes on campus in New Orleans where students dish on Mardi Gras.

6 Reasons Learning An Instrument As An Adult Is Easier Than You Think

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Learning how to play an instrument seems like an oddly daunting task for an adult. If you missed out on weekly piano lessons as a kid, is it too late to pick it up when you're on the other side of 30?

The short answer is: no. Turns out, adults have some key advantages over children when it comes to learning how to play an instrument. For a more in-depth look, we turned to Dr. Jessica Grahn, a cognitive neuroscientist and professor at the Brain and Mind Institute and Psychology Department at Western University in Canada who researches music, and James Lenger, the founder and president of Guitar Cities and music instructor to both children and adults for over 21 years.

You already have a good understanding of music from a lifetime of listening to it.

Before you even start playing, you come in with an extra edge: You've spent your entire life listening to music. "When I'm teaching, with the adults, one of the first things I have them do is write out in the back of their lesson book every song that they've ever wanted to learn," Lenger says. "Because of that exposure, when they're learning something, they can relate it to music that they already know." This knowledge can help you understand what chords and groupings of chords sound relatively easily.

"[Adults] can understand the basic structures of music and how they're inherent in a number of different songs they listen to," he says. "With kids, it's really tough to take an abstract approach like that."

piano

You have the discipline and focus to make yourself practice.

As a child, your brain is still in the process of adapting to the environment and it can change connections more easily, thereby making music-learning an actual part of your brain wiring. As an adult, you can change connections, just not to the same degree. But this isn't entirely unfortunate. The adult brain is also chock full of life experience, which can actually be beneficial when leaning to play an instrument.

"The disadvantage that children have is that they are not so good at figuring out higher level rules and they don't really know about how to get good at something," says Dr. Grahn. "Whereas adults usually have some practice, either with sports or school, at saying, 'Okay, I want to succeed at this so what must I do? I must practice.'"

You are much better equipped to tackle complicated, abstract concepts.

Adults can also grapple abstract concepts more easily. "You can explain to an adult, 'Well, here are the rules of a scale and this is why these notes follow each other and these notes don't follow each other,'" says Dr. Grahn. "That might be much easier to remember because that's a rule. They can then apply that rule in lots of different places in music, whereas children kind of have to learn it all by practice."

The biggest difference in approach to learning harkens back to adults' analytical nature. Lenger explains that children tend to play what's put in front of them as fast as they can, while adults are sticklers for perfection. If you can put aside your desire for a mistake-free session and play even if your fingers aren't exactly in the right position, you're likely to learn more quickly.

You actually want to learn the instrument -- no one is making you.

While some kids feel compelled to play an instrument -- either by their parents or their lofty goals, like college admittance -- adults are the masters of their own destinies. They're generally excited to play music for the sole purpose of playing music. This motivation is "probably the most important thing," says Dr. Grahn, and it actually has some great cognitive effects, increasing your ability to learn faster.

For best results, make sure you're truly picking up an instrument that interests you and not one that you feel compelled to play.

trumpet

Playing an instrument relieves stress (something you need more now than you did as a kid).

Sure, there have been studies singing the praises, so to speak, of music's ability to reduce stress. Now that you're not a carefree kid anymore, this can be particularly beneficial and serve as yet another powerful motivator. Music has been proven to release dopamine in reward areas of the brain, the same ones that light up in response to food, sex and drugs. In fact, Dr. Grahn says, "It's probably harder to find areas of the brain that don't respond to music than to find areas that do."

Many professionals these days are taking breaks from long days at work to fit in music lessons, adds Lenger, whose clientele is about 90 percent adults coming in at all hours of the day. "It's just an escape from the office for a little bit," he says. "A big part of teaching isn't just learning the guitar. Sometimes their first five minutes is coming in here and decompressing a little bit, and then we can go in and play the instrument for a while."

There are some mood benefits of music that can actually help you learn how to play an instrument, too, which come in handy as an adult. (Studies prove this!) "Having a positive mood is generally very good for your cognitive function, for your general well-being and for being able to sleep, which we know enhances brain function," says Dr. Grahn.

Plus, your brain could use the exercise.

As an adult, learning how to play an instrument is what Dr. Grahn calls a "brain trainer," a way to challenge your brain in an effort to stay sharper and alert for longer. Not only is it possible for this stronger cognitive function to stave off dementia, but it will also allow you to enjoy a higher quality of life with a more active brain. "That you can get from music, but music isn't necessarily special in that way, except for the fact that music also tends to have mood benefits," she says.

How's that for motivation?

6 Creative Ways To Repurpose Your Dryer Lint

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From Networx's Katie Marks:

Every time you dry your clothes, you fish a little ball of fuzz out of the lint trap (at least, we hope it's every time: a clean lint trap is safer and helps your dryer work more efficiently!). You probably toss it in the trash, or the compost, if you know that lint can be composted as a carbon source, but did you know that there are some alternative uses for lint that might just have you changing your mind about whether it really deserves to be tossed aside?



One thing we don't recommend using lint for is stuffing toys, small pillows, and the like. Because it's flammable, it could pose a fire risk.

Tribeca Film Festival 2014 Lineup Announced

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Organizers for the Tribeca Film Festival announced the 2014 lineup of Spotlight, Midnight, Storyscapes and special screenings on Thursday, revealing new projects from Joss Whedon, Jon Favreau, Roman Polanski, Chris Messina and Courteney Cox. The selection of films, combined with Tribeca's competition slate, has the makings of one of the strongest Tribeca programs in recent memory. Check out the list of films below; the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 16 through April 27. The Nas documentary, "Time is Illmatic," will open this year's fest.

New York, NY [March 6, 2014] – The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by AT&T, today announced its feature film selections in the Spotlight, Midnight, and Special Screenings sections, as well as the selections for the Storyscapes program. The 13th edition of the Festival will take place from April 16th to April 27th in New York City.

The Spotlight section features 31 films, consisting of 22 narratives and 9 documentaries. Twenty films in the selection will have their world premieres at the Festival. The Midnight section will open with the feature film, Preservation, and includes a lineup of seven genre-bending titles from fresh voices around the world that run the gamut from tongue-in-cheek comedy to chilling horror films. The Special Screenings include a work-in-progress documentary from Louie Psihoyos (The Cove), a film entitled 6, on a team of activists who risk their lives to shed light on species extinction.

“Spotlight and Special screenings are an especially dynamic aspect of this year’s program, both in range of styles and stories,” said Genna Terranova, Director of Programming. “Many films feature real-life personalities who’ve accomplished extraordinary feats, while in other films we see personal relationships at pivotal moments of transition. We look forward to sharing these engaging stories with audiences.”

"Whether they made us laugh, squirm, or plain scared the heck out of us, each of the seven films in this year’s Midnight section never failed to genuinely surprise us with wildly original and unexpected reimaginings of classic genre stories," said Cara Cusumano, Programmer. “From ghost stories to creature features, and even an underdog sports comedy, we’re proud to present an eclectic and adventurous slate of films that we believe represent the year’s most interesting new voices in genre filmmaking.”

For the second year, and joining an expanded range of programs at the Festival that bridge filmmaking and technology, is Storyscapes. Created in collaboration with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin, this multi-platform transmedia program celebrates new trends in digital media and recognizes filmmakers and content creators who employ an interactive, web-based, or cross-platform approach to story creation.

The complete list of films selected for the Spotlight, Midnight, and Special Screenings sections along with the projects in the Storyscapes program are as follows:

SPOTLIGHT

Co-Sponsored by The Lincoln Motor Company

With its focus on marquee directors, prominent actors, and star performers, Spotlight is Tribeca’s showcase for launching breakout films. This year’s program finds maturing millennials navigating the changing nature of their friendships in best-friends comedy Life Partners, and Big Chill-homage About Alex, while older characters also struggle with change—like the New York couple at the center of Ira Sachs’ touching Love is Strange, and a subdued Robin Williams as a late-in-life man finally embracing his authentic self in Boulevard. From the international side, provocateur Roman Polanski finally brings his Cannes hit Venus In Fur to the U.S., while Stellan Skarsgård anchors pitch-black comedy, In Order of Disappearance as an unlikely vigilante. The Spotlight documentaries probe topics from LEGO bricks to Chinese-American cuisine, and include profiles of icons ranging from legendary musicians like The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir in The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip of Bob Weir and shock-rock badboy, Alice Cooper, in Super Duper Alice Cooper, to sharp-tongued Texas governor Ann Richards in All About Ann: Governor Richards of the Lone Star State and the (as-of-now) only American winner of the Tour de France, Greg LeMond, whose bitter rivalry with a teammate threatens to derail his career in Slaying the Badger. Rounding out the docs is a an expose of questionable undercover FBI tactics, The Newburgh Sting. With something for every taste, Spotlight is an exciting panorama of premieres sure to stimulate, inspire, and entertain.

5 to 7, directed and written by Victor Levin. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Young aspiring novelist Brian (Anton Yelchin) meets Arielle (Bérénice Marlohe), the sophisticated wife of a French Diplomat. They soon embark on a “cinq-a-sept” affair that challenges Brian’s traditional American ideas of love and relationships. A cosmopolitan comedy of manners told with surprising warmth and lightness, 5 to 7 marks writer and producer Levin’s (Mad Men) directorial debut, and welcomes actress Marlohe (Skyfall) as a glamorous, ebullient screen presence. With Glenn Close and Frank Langella.

About Alex, directed and written by Jesse Zwick. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. A circle of twenty-something friends reunite for a weekend away to console a suicidal member of their group. Yet, despite their best efforts to enjoy themselves, a tinderbox of old jealousies, unrequited love, and widening political differences leads to an explosion of drama that, coupled with the flammable combination of drugs, wine, and risotto, cannot be contained. A Big Chill for our current social media moment, About Alex is a lighthearted look at the struggles of a generation that has it all—and wants more. Starring Aubrey Plaza, Max Greenfield, Max Minghella, Jason Ritter, Nate Parker, and Maggie Grace.

Alex of Venice, directed by Chris Messina, written by Jessica Goldberg and Katie Nehra & Justin Shilton. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Workaholic environmental attorney Alex (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has always relied on her husband George (Chris Messina) to take the reins at home. But when he unexpectedly asks for a break, his departure forces Alex to reevaluate her life as she juggles the care of her son and needs of an aspiring-actor father (Don Johnson), all amid the most important case of her life. Actor Chris Messina steps behind the camera for his directorial debut about a woman pushed to the edge who finds the strength to press on.

All About Ann: Governor Richards of the Lone Star State, directed by Keith Patterson and Phillip Schopper. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. An unmissable documentary for any political junkie, All About Ann celebrates the achievements of larger-than-life Ann Richards, who became the first elected female governor of Texas. Her cool demeanor, acid wit, and passion for social inclusivity made her one of the most powerful and progressive governors in U.S. history, a liberal democrat intent on building “the new Texas.” But, when the 1994 election begins, Richards is faced with her toughest challenge yet, as an increasingly conservative majority turn towards a new, pro-business candidate: George W. Bush. An HBO Documentary Film.

Boulevard, directed by Dito Montiel, written by Douglas Soesbe. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Nolan Mack, a soft-spoken bank employee, undoubtedly loves his wife Joy, though their cavernous empty house only underscores how disconnected they’ve always been from each other. Nolan finds himself drifting from his familiar present-day life in pursuit of lost time after meeting a troubled young man named Leo on his drive home. What begins as an aimless drive down an unfamiliar street turns into a life-altering series of events. Robin Williams and Kathy Baker deliver quietly stirring performances in this touching film about finding the strength to be true to yourself at any age.

Bright Days Ahead (Les beaux jours), directed by Marion Vernoux, written by Fanny Chesnel. (France) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. In this sophisticated and sexy drama, a newly retired woman in her 60s (French cinema icon Fanny Ardant, 8 Women, Confidentially Yours) finds herself tumbling into an affair with a much younger man (Laurent Lafitte, Little White Lies), her computer teacher at the local seniors’ club. As she finds herself courting danger—taking her young lover to places they could easily be discovered by her husband (Patrick Chesnais, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)—she must decide if her retirement will mark the end for her marriage, or a new beginning. In French with English Subtitles. A Tribeca Film Release.

Chef, directed and written by Jon Favreau. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative. After talented and dynamic chef Carl Casper’s (Favreau) social media-fueled meltdown against his nemesis food critic lands him without any job prospects, Chef Casper hits the road with his son and his sous chef (John Leguizamo) to launch a brand new food truck business. Complete with lavish food imagery and a star-studded cast including Sofia Vergara, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, and Amy Sedaris, Favreau’s fresh take on food and chef culture has poignant messages about the media-driven world in which we live and the real meaning of success. An Open Road Release.

Every Secret Thing, directed by Amy Berg, written by Nicole Holofcener. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. One clear summer day in a Baltimore suburb, a baby goes missing from her front porch. Two young girls serve seven years for the crime and are released into a town that hasn’t fully forgiven or forgotten. Soon, another child is missing, and two detectives are called in to investigate the mystery in a community where everyone seems to have a secret. An ensemble cast, including Elizabeth Banks, Diane Lane, Dakota Fanning, and Nate Parker, brings to life Laura Lippman’s acclaimed novel of love, loss, and murder.

In Order of Disappearance (Kraftidioten), directed by Hans Petter Moland, written by Kim Fupz Aakeson. (Norway) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Upstanding community leader Nils (Stellan Skarsgård) has just won an award for ‘Citizen of the Year’ when he learns the news that his son has died of a heroin overdose. Suspecting foul play, Nils begins to investigate, and soon finds himself at the center of an escalating underworld gang war between Serbian drug dealers and a sociopathic criminal mastermind known only as “The Count.” Hans Petter Moland’s action-thriller is an entertaining and intelligent black comedy set in the dead of frozen Norwegian winter. In English, Norwegian, and Swedish with English subtitles.

In Your Eyes, directed by Brin Hill, written by Joss Whedon. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
East Coast housewife Rebecca (Zoe Kazan) lives a comfortable, sheltered life, but she always knew there was something special about herself. Charismatic ex-con Dylan (Michael Stahl-David) has paid his debt to society and is ready for a fresh start in New Mexico, including a burgeoning flirtation with local good-time-gal Donna (Nikki Reed). When the two polar opposites realize they are strangely connected, an utterly unique metaphysical romance begins in TFF alum Brin Hill’s sweet and smart film, which star Zoe Kazan aptly described as “Joss Whedon does Nicholas Sparks.”

Just Before I Go, directed by Courteney Cox, written by David Flebotte. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Seann William Scott plays Ted Morgan, a down-on-his-luck everyman who has decided he’s had enough of the hard knocks life has thrown his way. But before saying his final adieu, Ted returns to his hometown to right a few wrongs. Enter a zany cast of characters, including Rob Riggle, Olivia Thirlby, and Garret Dillahunt, who, whilst royally messing up his scheme, manage to teach him a few clumsy, but ultimately valuable lessons.

Keep On Keepin’ On, directed and written by Alan Hicks, co-written by Davis Coombe. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Eighty-nine year old trumpeting legend Clark Terry has mentored jazz wonders like Miles Davis and Quincy Jones, but Terry’s most unlikely friendship is with Justin Kauflin, a 23-year-old blind piano player with uncanny talent, but debilitating nerves. As Justin prepares for the most pivotal moment in his budding career, Terry’s ailing health threatens to end his own. Charming and nostalgic, Alan Hicks’ melodic debut celebrates an iconic musician while introducing an emerging star of equal vibrancy.

Life Partners, directed and written by Susanna Fogel, co-written by Joni Lefkowitz. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Nearing 30, Sasha and Paige realize their codependent friendship is preventing either of them from settling down. But when Paige meets the dorky yet lovable Tim, Sasha fears that she’s being replaced. Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs, Gabourey Sidibe, and Adam Brody star in a comedy revolving around two friends and the guy that strikes discord in their harmoniously laid-back resistance to growing up. Directed by Susanna Fogel, Life Partners affectionately tackles the intimacy and complexity of female friendship.

Love is Strange, directed and written by Ira Sachs, co-written by Mauricio Zacharias. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative. Ira Sachs returns to the indie scene following 2012’s acclaimed Keep the Lights On with another new take on modern love. Acting veterans John Lithgow and Alfred Molina star as Ben and George, a Manhattan couple who are finally given the opportunity to make their union official. But when Ben loses his teaching job as a result, the relationship is tested in unconventional ways—leaving them to lean more heavily than ever on their love to hold things together. A Sony Pictures Classics Release.

Lucky Them, directed by Megan Griffiths, written by Huck Botko and Emily Wachtel. (USA) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. More interested in partying and flirting with young musicians than work, veteran rock journalist Ellie Klug (Toni Collette) has one last chance to prove her value to her magazine’s editor: a no-stone-unturned search to discover what really happened to long lost rock god, Matt Smith, who also happens to be her ex-boyfriend. Teaming up with an eccentric amateur documentary filmmaker (Thomas Haden Church in a delightful performance), Ellie hits the road in search of answers in this charming dramedy set against the vibrant Seattle indie music scene. An IFC Films Release.

Manos Sucias, directed and written by Josef Wladyka, co-written by Alan Blanco. (Colombia, USA) – International Premiere, Narrative. Towing a submerged torpedo in the wake of their battered fishing boat, a desperate fisherman and a naive kid embark on a journey trafficking millions of dollars worth of cocaine. Shot entirely on location along the Pacific coast of Colombia—in areas that bear the indelible scars of the drug trade—Manos Sucias refuses to glamorize the drug trade but rather seeks to offer a rare glimpse of its devastating effects. Executive Produced by Spike Lee.

Match, directed and written by Stephen Belber. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. A Seattle couple (Matthew Lillard and Carla Gugino) travel to New York to interview colorful former dancer Tobi (played with remarkable dexterity by Patrick Stewart) for research on a dissertation about dance. But soon, common niceties and social graces erode when the questions turn personal and the true nature of the interview is called into question. Based on the Tony Award-winning play of the same name, Match moves effortlessly between riotous wit and delicate poignancy in this story of responsibility, artistic commitment, and love.

Miss Meadows, directed and written by Karen Leigh Hopkins (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Prim schoolteacher Miss Meadows (Katie Holmes) is not entirely what she appears. Well-mannered, sweet, and caring, yes, but underneath the candy-sweet exterior hides the soul of a vigilante, taking it upon herself to right the wrongs in this cruel world by whatever means necessary. Things get complicated, however, when Miss Meadows gets romantically entangled with the town sheriff (James Badge Dale) and her steadfast moral compass is thrown off, begging the question: “Who is the real Miss Meadows and what is she hiding?”

The Newburgh Sting, directed by David Heilbroner and Kate Davis, written by David Heilbroner. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Just 60 miles north of New York City sits the poverty-stricken town of Newburgh, where, in 2009, four men were arrested for a plan to bomb two Jewish centers in the Bronx. But their leader, a suspicious Pakistani businessman planted by the government as an informant, led these men straight into the hands of the authorities. With endless footage gathered from hidden cameras, directors David Heilbroner and Kate Davis investigate just what homegrown terrorism truly means in this shocking and galvanizing exposé.

Night Moves, directed and written by Kelly Reichardt, co-written by Jon Raymond. (USA) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, and Peter Sarsgaard star as radical activists surreptitiously plotting to blow up Oregon’s Green Peter Dam in an act of environmental sabotage. As their plan marches inexorably towards fruition, they soon discover that small steps have enormous consequences. Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy director Kelly Reichardt crafts another graceful and absorbing film about outsiders searching for a meaningful place on the edges of the system in this atmospheric environmental thriller. A Cinedigm Release.

The One I Love, directed by Charlie McDowell, written by Justin Lader. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative. In Charlie McDowell’s refreshing and inventive twist on the love story, Ethan and Sophie escape to a country retreat in a last ditch attempt to save their ailing marriage. But what begins as a quiet opportunity to reconnect soon morphs into an unexplainable head trip that forces the couple to confront their relationship in an impossibly unique way. Starring Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss in heartfelt performances, The One I Love turns the romantic comedy upside down with an altogether original take on monogamy, relationships, and how much you ever really know your partner. A Radius-TWC Release.

The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip of Bob Weir, directed by Mike Fleiss. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Drop out of school to ride with the Merry Pranksters. Form America’s most enduring jam band. Become a family man and father. Never stop chasing the muse. Bob Weir took his own path to and through superstardom as rhythm guitarist for The Grateful Dead. Mike Fleiss re-imagines the whole wild journey in this magnetic rock doc and concert film, with memorable input from bandmates, contemporaries, followers, family, and, of course, the inimitable Bob Weir himself.

Palo Alto, directed and written by Gia Coppola, adapted from Palo Alto: Stories by James Franco. (USA) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. Popular but shy soccer player April (Emma Roberts) frequently babysits for her single-dad coach, Mr. B. (James Franco), while Teddy (Jack Kilmer) is an introspective artist whose best friend and sidekick, Fred (Nat Wolff), is an unpredictable live wire with few filters or boundaries. One party bleeds into another as April and Teddy finally acknowledge their mutual affection, and Fred’s escalating recklessness spirals into chaos. Palo Alto is a vibrant cinematic immersion into the overlapping stories and emotions that make up the high school experience. A Tribeca Film Release.

The Search for General Tso, directed by Ian Cheney. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. From New York City to the farmlands of the Midwest, there are 50,000 Chinese restaurants in the U.S., yet one dish in particular has conquered the American culinary landscape with a force befitting its military moniker—“General Tso’s Chicken.” But who was General Tso and how did this dish become so ubiquitous? Ian Cheney’s delightfully insightful documentary charts the history of Chinese Americans through the surprising origins of this sticky, sweet, just-spicy-enough dish that we’ve adopted as our own.

Silenced, directed by James Spione. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Only 11 Americans have ever been charged under the Espionage Act of 1917; eight of them since President Obama took office. Academy Award®-nominated documentarian James Spione returns to TFF with the incredible personal journeys of two members of that octet, Thomas Drake and John Kiriakou, along with accountability advocate, Jesselyn Radack, who helped bring their cases to light. With resonance in the post-Snowden era, Silenced catalogs the lengths to which the government has gone to keep its most damning secrets quiet, in an impassioned and thought-provoking defense of whistleblowers everywhere. Executive produced by Susan Sarandon.

Sister, directed and written by David Lascher, co-written by Todd Camhe. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. When unstable Connie (Barbara Hershey) is tragically widowed, she finds it impossible to care for her delinquent adolescent daughter, Nicki, forcing her son, Bill (Reid Scott), to take his sister in. As the two begin to forge a healthy bond, well-meaning Bill implements his own method of treatment for Nicki’s mental troubles, but, when turmoil persists, he must reconcile his beliefs with what actually may be best for his sister. Sister addresses the polemic issue of youth psychotropic drug prescription with restraint and sensitivity.

Slaying the Badger, directed and written by John Dower. (UK) – World Premiere, Documentary. Before Lance Armstrong, there was Greg LeMond, who is now the first and only American to win the Tour de France. In this engrossing documentary, LeMond looks back at the pivotal 1986 Tour, and his increasingly vicious rivalry with friend, teammate, and mentor Bernard Hinault. The reigning Tour champion and brutal competitor known as “The Badger,” Hinault ‘promised’ to help LeMond to his first victory, in return for LeMond supporting him in the previous year. But in a sport that purports to reward teamwork, it’s really every man for himself. An ESPN Films Production.

Super Duper Alice Cooper, directed and written by Reginald Harkema, Scot McFadyen, and Sam Dunn. (Canada) – World Premiere, Documentary. Emerging from the Detroit music scene of the 1970s in a flurry of long hair and sequins, Alice Cooper restored hard rock with a sense of showmanship, while simultaneously striking fear into the hearts of Middle America with the chicken-slaughtering, dead-baby-eating theatrics that would cement his identity as a glam metal icon. Meticulously crafted from rare archival footage, Super Duper Alice Cooper tells the story of the man behind the makeup, Vincent Furnier, the son of a preacher, who got caught in the grip of his own monster.

Third Person, directed and written by Paul Haggis. (Belgium) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. Veteran screenwriter and director Paul Haggis (Crash) brings to the screen a calculated vision of the drama of love. Three stories set in cities known for romance—New York, Rome, and Paris—take raw and personal twists as characters grapple with the difficulties of modern relationships. With a heavyweight cast including James Franco, Mila Kunis, Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, Adrien Brody, and Maria Bello, Haggis once again weaves an intricate narrative out of seemingly separate worlds. A Sony Pictures Classics Release.

Untitled Daniel Junge and Kief Davidson Documentary. (USA, Denmark) - World Premiere, Documentary. Stay tuned for more information on this new documentary exploring the fans of a beloved childhood toy.

Venus in Fur (La Vénus à la fourrure), directed and written by Roman Polanski, co-written by David Ives. (France, Poland) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Thomas (Matthieu Almaric) is a theater director staging an adaptation of an obscure 19th century Austrian novel. Frustrated by the quality of actresses he has auditioned, Thomas is about to give up when mysterious Vanda (Emmanuelle Seigner, Polanski’s wife) arrives in his theater unannounced, knowing every line by heart. As the two begin a fevered, intense, and at times aggressive collaboration, the lines between passion and obsession (and theater and reality) begin to blur in auteur Roman Polanski’s latest New York stage adaptation. In French and German with English subtitles. A Sundance Selects Release.

MIDNIGHT

What do alien invaders and chupacabras have in common with a sword-wielding maniac and the ghost of a turn-of-the-century murderer? They can all be found in Tribeca’s 2014 Midnight program, a collection of this year’s most boundary-pushing genre films from around the globe. Opening Night selection, Preservation, is a moody, intelligent take on the maniac in the woods genre, and an apt foreshadowing of the slew of inhuman baddies that emerge from the darkness to terrify sexed-up teens in Extraterrestrial, Indigenous, and sure-to-be-a-conversation-piece special screening, Zombeavers. Meanwhile, a rookie cop takes on his deranged doppelganger in bizarre German horror-cum-arthouse film, Der Samurai, while the conflict takes a team turn in Intramural, a wacky romp about an underdog flag football team that riffs on classic sports movies with a cartoonish comedic sensibility. Too terrifying, strange, or downright hilarious for daylight hours, these seven films wear their Midnight Movie moniker with pride.

The Canal, directed and written by Ivan Kavanagh. (Ireland) – World Premiere, Narrative. Film archivist David and his wife are perfectly happy—or so he believes. When a looming secret shatters their marriage at the same time as a turn-of-the-century film reel he is studying reveals their house to be the site of a 1902 multiple-murder, David begins to unravel, and the house’s eerie history threatens to repeat itself. Dripping with tension and chilling to the core, this visceral Irish ghost story is a visually arresting and genuinely shocking journey into the darkness within.

Der Samurai, directed and written by Till Kleinert. (Germany) – International Premiere, Narrative. A samurai-wielding figure wearing a white dress lurks menacingly in the forest, waiting to descend upon an unsuspecting village in the muddy backwaters of rural East Germany. As heads roll with each stroke of his sword, dutiful, straight-laced cop Jakob becomes increasingly powerless to resist the draw of the Samurai’s feral otherness. The two enter into a bizarre folie à deux as Jakob is forced to confront his own carnal impulses that he has long sought to repress.

Extraterrestrial, directed by Colin Minihan, written by The Vicious Brothers. (Canada) – World Premiere, Narrative. The Vicious Brothers (Grave Encounters) return to Tribeca with their latest heart-pumping thriller. Five friends set out to a cabin in the woods for a fun weekend getaway—that is, until extraterrestrial visitors turn it into a fight for their lives. The group is pulled from their reverie when a flickering object crashes deep in the woods. As they investigate, the friends stumble across an alien spacecraft, and its inhabitants have not arrived in peace.

Indigenous, directed by Alastair Orr, written by Max Roberts. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. A group of five American friends on the cusp of adulthood travel to Panama to relax and reconnect. They befriend a local woman in their hotel bar—and despite some ominous whispers—she goes against the specific instructions of her brother and brings the Americans on a daytrip into the pristine falls at the nearby jungle. What begins as an innocent outing to a picturesque waterfall quickly turns terrifying after she suddenly goes missing. As night closes in, the friends realize too late the truth behind the rumors—the legendary, blood-sucking Chupacabra is now stalking them. In English and Spanish with subtitles.

Intramural, directed by Andrew Disney, written by Bradley Jackson. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. There comes a time in every fifth-year senior’s life where they must either accept the impending ‘real world’ of jobs, marriage, and payment plans or shirk that responsibility in favor of playing the most glorious intramural football game your school probably doesn’t really care to see. In this full throttle and hilarious send-up of inspirational sports movies, director Andrew Disney harnesses every cliché and overused trope to tell the greatest (and only) intramural sports movie of all time. Featuring an ensemble cast including Kate MacKinnon, Jay Pharoah, Beck Bennett, and Nikki Reed.

Preservation, directed and written by Christopher Denham, (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
Three family members head deep into the woods for a hunting trip that doubles as a distraction from their troubles at home. When all of their gear is stolen, they turn on each other, but soon realize there are much more treacherous forces at work. Actor Christopher Denham takes his second turn in the director’s chair with this finely crafted horror-thriller starring Pablo Schreiber (The Wire, Orange is the New Black), Aaron Staton (Mad Men), and Wrenn Schmidt (Boardwalk Empire).

Zombeavers, directed and written by Jordan Rubin, co-written by Al Kaplan and Jon Kaplan. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. You know the story: sexy teens head to a secluded lakeside cabin for a weekend of debauched fun, only to be menaced by a mysterious force picking them off one by one. But here, the culprit proves to be a horde of rabid zombie beavers! The B-movie creature feature is making a comeback, and with 2 million views of its trailer in its first two weeks alone, Zombeavers is a veritable phenomenon. And it’s finally here. Special midnight screening.

STORYSCAPES

Tribeca Film Festival’s Storyscapes, created in collaboration with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin, is a juried section at the Festival to showcase innovative and interactive transmedia work across genres. This year the stories are all around us, bringing to life innovative forms of storytelling that encourage participation and spark imagination. Put on a Virtual Reality headset and experience the visceral power of Use of Force. Immerse yourself in the computer-generated, non-linear experience of Clouds. Vote on the path that Choose Your Own Documentary takes in a live performance that incorporates comedy, film and audience participation. Create your own joyful choir with On A Human Scale. Finally, eavesdrop on the past as you navigate through a 3D-city neighborhood that no longer exists in Circa 1948. These are stories that surround us and stories that involve us. Dive in. Curated by the TFF Programming team along with Ingrid Kopp, Director of Digital Initiatives for the Tribeca Film Institute, the program will present five selections as public, interactive installations at the Bombay Sapphire House of Imagination (121 Varick Street, 7th Floor) starting from April 23 – April 26, 2014. The interactive nature of Storyscapes will also extend to the lounge and cocktail bars at Bombay Sapphire House of Imagination. Different locations will trigger specific messages sent to mobile phones; a mixture of facts and stories about cocktails, botanicals, technology and creativity. Guests will be encouraged to share thoughts and observations, which will be projected in the lounge.

Choose Your Own Documentary, Project Creators: Nathan Penlington, Fernando R. Gutierrez De Jesus, Nick Watson, and Sam Smaïl. Inspired by the Choose Your Own Adventure books of the 1980s, Choose Your Own Documentary tells the story of Nathan Penlington’s discovery of a diary tucked away in one of these books and his attempts to unravel its many mysteries. Part comedy stand-up, part documentary, this is a unique live interactive experience in which the audience plays a vital role. With over 1,566 possible versions, and multiple endings, every performance is different and the audience votes on the path the documentary takes. Where will the story lead? How will the story end? You decide.

Circa 1948, Project Creator: Stan Douglas with the NFB Digital Studio. Circa 1948 is a new project from internationally renowned artist Stan Douglas. Together with NFB Interactive, he has recreated areas from Vancouver’s history that no longer exist. The locations have been meticulously researched and are recreated in historically accurate 3D detail, where they become the site of the disembodied voices of the people who once inhabited them. Eavesdrop on the past and explore a seminal turning point in the history of Vancouver through the voices of homeless veterans, gamblers, prostitutes, and police officers. Hearing—but not seeing—the inhabitants, you can navigate the different environments and be immersed in a plot peopled with characters from a disappeared world.

Clouds, Project Creators: Jonathan Minard, James George. A new generation of artists and hackers are emerging and creating tools for poetic and socially engaged experiments in art, storytelling, and technology. 3D-scanned conversations from this community form a network of ideas explored in a non-linear documentary that is assembled from code, bringing form and content together in a truly exciting way. Clouds will be presented as an interactive installation that you can navigate yourself.

On a Human Scale, Project Creator: Matthew Carey. On a Human Scale reimagines the people of New York City as a fully playable and immersive video instrument controlled by a piano. Each key triggers a different video of a different person, from a different walk of life, singing a different note. When played together they fuse into a joyful choir that is totally under the control of whoever is at the keyboard. Playing the piano brings to life an audiovisual installation that fuses music, film, people, and technology into a living, singing tapestry of humanity.

Use of Force, Project Creator: Nonny de la Peña. Use of Force is a fully immersive documentary experience that puts you on scene when migrant Anastasio Hernandez Rojas was killed by border patrol on the U.S.–Mexico border in 2010. Using custom built virtual reality, participants stand alongside witnesses who were trying to stop the events unfolding, offering a profound and visceral experience. Nonny de la Peña is a pioneer of immersive journalism and this is an experience that really puts you in someone else’s shoes.

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

6, directed by Louie Psihoyos. (USA) – Work In Progress, Documentary. From the Academy Award®- winning filmmaking team that revealed oceanic atrocities in The Cove comes a bigger and bolder mission. Utilizing state-of-the-art equipment, director Louie Psihoyos assembles a team of activists intent on showing the world never-before-seen images that will change the way we understand issues of endangered species and mass extinction. Whether infiltrating notorious black markets with guerilla-style tactics, or working with artists to create beautiful imagery with unexpected animal subjects, 6 will literally change the way you see the world.

A Brony Tale, directed by Brent Hodge, written by Ashleigh Ball and Hodge. (USA) - World Premiere, Documentary. Born of internet mecca 4chan, the "Brony" phenomenon is a flourishing community of adult, mostly male, fans of the children's cartoon "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic," a group drawn together by their mutual love of the show's positive, teamwork-oriented moral. Brent Hodge's funny and illuminating documentary surveys the members of this surprising subculture, framed by the journey of Ashleigh Bell, one of the show's voice actors, to embrace her unexpected fan base.

Journey to the West (Xi You), directed and written by Tsai Ming Liang. (France, Taiwan R.O.C.) – North American Premiere, Narrative. A meditation loosely based on the classical Chinese story by Wu Cheng’en. This groundbreaking new interpretation brings the legendary pilgrimage of a Buddhist Monk into the present tense. Director Tsai Ming Liang bids us to look and listen, providing a timeless take on the spiritual journey of an individual whose main battle is the constant negotiation between the self and the substrate in which he finds himself. Journey to the West proposes that true enlightenment awaits those who endure.

This Time Next Year, directed by Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. In 2012, Superstorm Sandy swept along the East Coast, devastating countless communities in its wake. This is one community’s story of what it takes to rebuild. TFF alum Jeff Reichert (Gerrymandering) teams up with co-director/producer Farihah Zaman to follow the residents of Long Beach Island, NJ, during the first full year after the storm. Funded by Tribeca Film Institute with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, this documentary is more than just a film; it is a call to action.

True Son, directed by Kevin Gordon. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary Stockton, California is considered one of the worst cities in the United States, riddled with financial crisis and crime rates rivaling Afghanistan. But where everyone else saw hopelessness, 22-year-old Michael Tubbs saw possibility. In 2012, Tubbs decided to run for City Council to reinvent his hometown, building his campaign from the ground up. In Kevin Gordon’s passionate and inspirational documentary he sets out to beat a politician twice his age and bring his community back from bankruptcy.

The short film program will be announced on March 11, 2014.

'Divergent' Star Theo James Is About To Get Really Famous

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Theo James is the latest in a growing line of handsome actors cast as male leads in young adult adaptations, but he might be the best one yet. He's at least got the best sense of humor.

"I could lie and say I had read them before, but, no, I hadn't," James told HuffPost Entertainment when asked if he was familiar with "Divergent," Veronica Roth's popular YA novel, before signing on to the film. "In truth, the books hadn't really come to British shores in the way they had hit the shelves in America at that point. The awareness was lower. Obviously, though, as soon as I did the first audition and I realized things were progressing, I kind of read the first two that weekend."

The English-born James, 29, has a handful of screen credits to his name, but it's "Divergent" that will make him a star. The upcoming film -- the first in a planned trilogy -- stars James as Four, a star member of Dauntless, the bravest of the five factions that comprise society in post-apocalyptic Chicago. Four's cool demeanor is tested when Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) chooses to join Dauntless over her family's faction, Abnegation. The pair's nascent romance, and a brewing government coup, make up a bulk of the "Divergent" story, providing James with opportunities both amorous and physical. (Said James of his fight training for the "Divergent" role: "I specifically wanted Four to be someone who could potentially be really f--king lethal.")

To celebrate what Summit Entertainment, the studio behind "Divergent," is calling Candor Week (named for the faction that values honesty over all else), HuffPost Entertainment spoke to James about the upcoming film, why Four was so fun for him to play and which faction he'd most want to join.

theo james divergent

To me, Four isn't necessarily like the male leads in other recent YA adaptations. He's more mature and confident, but there's also a dark side. Is that what interested you?
I think you're right. He has a cool, almost iconic nature to the way he was written. He has such a rich background, but he's not like a hunky legend. He's just a guy who is damaged by demons and his abusive father. He's also kind of a quiet person, but also dangerous at the same time. That really attracted me to the whole concept and story of the film. He has a kind of masculinity and a stillness that I don't think you see a lot these days, especially in young male characters and how they're written. He kind of had this old-school quality that I loved.

This is your first major starring role. Were you nervous at all about accepting a part in such a big franchise?
There's part of it that you don't really know, to be honest. Part of it you have to take on blind faith and instinct. This is definitely my biggest film, so the realities of say, for example, the press commitments: you don't know about that stuff. You can ask people, but until you've done it, you really have no idea. At the same time, you do think about it. It's not one movie. It's potentially three movies, with all the stuff in between. It's a big part of your life. It inevitably will shape your career. Because you're doing it three times, or however many times you're doing it, you have to love the character. Luckily, he is a cool character. I felt with him that I had an instant connection. Sometimes it takes a bit longer, but with him I knew how I wanted to play him and portray him. It felt like a fit.

"Divergent" has a lot to say about individuality, but what kind of message do you want audiences to take away from the film?
I like to think that it's about choice. I like the idea that the film is about self-determination. Whether you can affect your life by the choices you make. Tris decides against the test and the advice of her family to do something different. The question is: Can you affect your destiny and determine your future by your choices? Or, do we have no control over our destiny and each decision that we think we make is actually predestined? There's also the way they talk about fear. I think that's a cool concept, because it's not about being fearless. It's not about a tough guy being like, "I ain't afraid, motherf--ker." It's about someone who is afraid, but is saying, "I know I can deal with this. How am I going to deal with this? The way I do will help me conquer it and move forward." I think that's a cool thing because everyone is afraid from day to day. Whether it's a minor thing like doing an interview or interviewing someone.

Was acting something you always wanted to do?
I was one of those annoying little shits who had done it at school. I never went to a stage school or an acting school, but I went to university and still carried on acting and putting on crap plays. I did really bad short movies, which are f--king hilarious if anyone ever gets their hands on them. After university, I thought about various things, but I definitely wanted to be an actor and I always loved movies. I didn't really have a clear in to that world, though, when I was younger. I don't come from a family like that. I didn't really know anyone in the industry. It just happened a bit later. We used to do plays at school, and I do remember doing a really embarrassing version of Patrick Marber's "Closer." I remember feeling somehow that this was something that could be fulfilling, but also something you could put yourself into and be satisfying as a career, rather than just a hobby.

Are you looking forward to filming "Insurgent"?
I think they're pretty keen to film as quick as possible. They have this date already set for next year, obviously. [Ed. note: "Insurgent" is out on March 20, 2015.] There are certain restrictions that come with that plan, but I think it's a good idea, in a way, because it's quite nice to have momentum. It's actually good for the actors because it means you get to do work in a relative short period of time. That will happen. As for when it will happen, I don't know. There are obviously different factors in terms of how much prep time the director gets, et cetera, et cetera.

Speaking of directors: Robert Schwentke will replace Neil Burger for "Insurgent." Have you met him?
He's cool. I've met him. He's actually a really nice guy. It's very early days. At the same time, there's always the pragmatic part of me that does try not to think about it too much until the movie comes out. Inevitably, you never f--king know what's going to happen. There is nothing you can guarantee.

One thing I'll guarantee is that you get this question a lot going forward: What faction would you be?
I would be Slytherin [laughs]. No, I'd be Dauntless, because you can get f--ked up and have the most fun. They can drink. They can eat what they want. Also, the babes are hotter.

"Divergent" is out in theaters on March 21.

Sundance And Gates Foundation Social Change Film Series Challenges You To Create Your Own

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Instead of the depressing numbers and helpless faces that dominate discussions of hunger and destitution, these two short films explore creative solutions to complex problems.

Commissioned by Sundance Institute and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, these films aren't just informative, they're an invitation to filmmakers to compete and join an important conversation.

On Wednesday, The Huffington Post premiered the first three commissioned films to introduce the Short Film Challenge -- a Sundance/Gates Foundation partnership that urges filmmakers to create short videos that shed light on extreme hunger and poverty.

The five winning filmmakers will see their work screened at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and receive $10,000 in prize money.

Below, are two more films to inspire you. From how sustainable fishing practices can transform a community to entrepreneurship changing the face of the African continent, if the videos pique your interest, you can learn more about the short film challenge here.

"VEZO" BY TOD LENDING



"AM I GOING TOO FAST?" BY HANK WILLIS THOMAS AND CHRISTOPHER MYERS

Miley Cyrus Uses A Teleprompter Onstage During Her Concerts

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Co-writing songs and performing them night after night apparently doesn't guarantee you'll have the lyrics committed to memory -- not if your name is Miley Cyrus.

The 21-year-old singer is facing criticism after fans spotted her glancing at lyrics on a teleprompter positioned at the edge of the stage. Photos captured at a recent Las Vegas concert show a karaoke-style display on the screen.

Of course, artists forgetting their lyrics onstage is not uncommon, and the spontaneity of those moments can sometimes be a concert's most charming event. But during a tour that's generated one controversial move after the next -- from make-out sessions with Katy Perry to an oral-sex simulation with a Bill Clinton impersonator -- it seems some find this a step too far in terms of Cyrus tour behavior.

"I was at Miley's Vegas concert and took these pictures because I couldn't believe she needed a teleprompter with lyrics to all of her songs throughout the entire concert," an eyewitness told RadarOnline. "And it's not like they were just there for nothing -- I caught her looking at them more than a few times!"

[via E! News]

32 Heart-Stopping Moments You Can Only Experience Thanks To A Camera

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This is a camera.

thisiscamera


In today's smartphone-, selfie- and celebrity-obsessed culture, people often use them to take unremarkable photographs of themselves or others.

selfie


We don't care about any of that right now. We care about what happens when cameras tell a story, delivering a stunning visual account of a moment that you couldn't experience yourself.

Cameras tell us a lot about the people who wield them. Sometimes photographers keep shooting, no matter what. Now we know how it feels to be in the line of fire.

israeli policeman

An armed Israeli policeman points his gun towards Palestinian demonstrators and photographers during clashes in East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud, following noon prayers, on February 28, 2014.


And in the line of water.

tsunanmi

Water rushes ashore as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami makes landfall in Ao Nang, Thailand. The disaster left 230,000 people dead in fourteen countries. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)


And dust.

pyroclastic cloud

A vehicle attempts to escape a cloud released by the eruption of the Pinatubo stratovolcano on June 17, 1991, on Luzon Island, Philippines. Pinatubo rose about 5725 feet above sea level before the June 1991 eruption. Almost 500 feet of the volcano was blasted away by this eruption.


And lava.

mount etna

Mount Etna erupts on May 12, 2011 in Etna, Sicily. As soon as he heard of the eruption, intrepid photographer Marco Fulle, 53, from Trieste in Northern Italy flew to the scene of the volcanic explosion. He was lucky not to be injured or killed during his madcap photo shoot - as fist sized lumps of volcanic ash called lapilli or volcanic bombs - rained down around him.


If the photographers are lucky, they escape unharmed, with visual evidence of just how it feels to briefly teeter on the edge of life.

molotov cocktail explodes

A molotov cocktail explodes in front of riot police on September 25, 2013 during clashes with demonstrators in Athens.


Sometimes, that's easier said than done.

israeli policeman points his gun towards

Aymann Ismail snapped this photo in Egypt just after being confronted by members of the Muslim Brotherhood during a protest in 2013. Ismail eventually retrieved his camera after having it stolen by an aggressive mob. This photo was on it.


In other cases, cameras take us along for a ride we'd be too scared to go on ourselves. We're guessing you didn't want to be here, risking certain death -- even if it was pretty smooth.




The proliferation of GoPro and helmet cameras has given us a more detailed first-person look into the lives of extreme athletes and others.


No. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaa ... [takes breath] ... aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay. Did you want to be here.



(YouTube via Imgur)



Here's a view from 128,000 feet up, where the Earth's curves are more than just a little visible...

view from space

Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner looks out from his gas balloon before jumping into the final leg of his Red Bull Stratos mission, in which he broke the record for highest freefall.


And this seems closer than home.

bruce mccandless space walk

Mission Specialist Bruce McCandless II is seen untethered from his ship during a space walk in February 1984. His distance of 320 feet away from the Orbiter still stands as the longest in history.


Yet still, they decide to return to Earth the fastest way possible.

felix



Baumgartner jumps from his balloon, entering a freefall that would propel him past the speed of sound. He landed successfully and without injury.


Showing us how it feels to be balanced on the edge of nothingness for a second.




And then flying down the world's tallest waterfall the next.

angel falls looking down

A man BASE jumps off of Angel Falls in Venezuela, a height of 3,212 feet.


Or what it looks like to descend onto a makeshift civilization in the wasteland. Also known as Burning Man.



A skydiver jumps from a plane over the Burning Man music festival in the Nevada desert.


Sometimes, cameras make it look like humans just fall back to Earth out of thin air.

red bull orlando statue of liberty

Orlando Duque of Colombia dives 23 metres (75 feet) from a helicopter next to the Statue of Liberty on August 19, 2013 as a teaser for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.


And other times, when falling isn't an option, taking pictures definitely still is.




Cameras also allow people to capture once in a lifetime moments that you might have missed, even if you were there.



Tampa Bay Rays sideline reporter Kelly Nash takes a selfie from Fenway Stadium as a ball flies perilously close to her head. It missed. (Photo via Instagram)


And to immortalize a sense of terrifying anticipation that lasted only a millisecond in real time...

XG332 English Electric Lightning


From Flickr: This famous picture was taken by Jim Meads and is of English Electric P1B Lightning XG332 ... being departed by test pilot George Aird on September 13th 1962. The aircraft suffered an engine fire which burned through the tailplane actuator rods causing XG332 to go into a violent pitch-up about 10 seconds before landing at the DeHavilland aerodrome at Hatfield (not Wattisham). The pilot ejected and landed in a greenhouse. He broke both legs, but was flying Lightnings again a year or so later.


Forever waiting for your friend to get a headache...




Or for a basketball player to come crashing through the frame.

nba out of bounds save

Chauncey Billups saves the ball as he falls out of bounds during a game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum January 27, 2009 in Memphis, Tenn.


Cameras also give life to the scene directly after the mayhem.

crash



A group of skydivers are ejected from their aircraft after two planes collided in Wisconsin in November 2013. Nobody was injured.


And allow us to relive moments we'll hopefully never have to see again.

nuclear test



Figures of workers in fore watching thermonuclear detonation during Pacific tests.


Cameras give us rare glimpses into other people's perspectives. Here's a pilot's view while landing at night.

plane landing cockpit


And this is what President Barack Obama sees when he's alone at his desk in the Oval Office. A lot has happened in that room, and it's stressing us out.




Cameras remind us that authority can be tenuous.

an iraqi soldier

An Iraqi soldier stands guard as Shiite pilgrims walk towards the holy Shiite city of Karbala September 18, 2005, which is located approximately 70 miles south of Baghdad, Iraq.


And what it looks like when people resist it.

protesters riot police clash

Demonstrators clash with police in Rome, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013.


But in their most basic and magical sense, cameras help transport us to places outside of our own realities. Thanks to this photo, you can imagine what it's like to be a rockstar taking the stage.




Or how it feels to catch a sick wave.




Or explore the unknown.

cave diving



A caver descends into the Notts Pot cave system on Leck Fell, Lancashire, England.


You can even see how it might have looked right before going "Back to the Future."



This is the dashboard of a Delorean, the vehicle retrofitted by Doc Brown to send Marty McFly back in time.


And get a breathtaking view that only a few humans have gotten to experience firsthand.

top of mt everest

The view from the top of Mt. Everest, at about 26,000 feet.


In the end, cameras remind us how important it is to sit back and take it all in, even if we sometimes have to rely on a photographer (or seven) to do it for us.

photographer aurora

Watch This Hawk Attack A Water Balloon In Super Slow Motion (VIDEO)

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When a hawk and balloon meet, you just know they're bound to become the best of friends. They'll probably go off on high-flying adventures together and learn life lessons and so much about themselves and each other and... well, let's just go ahead and see for ourselves in this super slow motion work above from Earth Unplugged.

Oh, geez! That escalated quickly -- err, actually, very slowly. All kidding aside, the bird in question is technically a goshawk and the fascinating production utilized "high speed camera work" to illustrate the process by which they hunt their prey at night.

Musical Anhedonia Study Reveals Some People Really Just Don't Like Music

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Some people just don't get music. They won't have a favorite playlist, turn the radio up, or jam with a DJ.

In fact, researchers have revealed in a new study that this inability to find pleasure in tunes is a psychological condition called musical anhedonia.

"The identification of these individuals could be very important to understanding the neural basis of music—that is, to understand how a set of notes [is] translated into emotions," study co-author Dr. Josep Marco-Pallarés, an associate professor at the University of Barcelona in Spain, said in a written statement.

Previous studies suggest that most humans have a genetic predisposition to respond to music, and music is universal to all human cultures. Simply listening to music can release endorphins in your brain, which are chemicals that trigger positive feelings.

But that might not be the case for everybody.

Using a questionnaire about how rewarding people find music, the researchers found some men and women reported not enjoying music as much as other kinds of experiences. The researchers thought these people might have a condition called amusia, which is the inability to process pitch altogether, but they decided to take a closer look.

They asked three groups of 10 people to take part in follow-up experiments. Some people said they got a lot of pleasure from listening music, some found it moderately pleasurable, while others said they did not get much pleasure from it.

First, the men and women listened to music and rated how much pleasure they were experiencing from it. In another task, they had to respond quickly to a target in order to win and avoid losing real money. Both tasks have been shown to involve reward circuits in the brain as well as produce a rush of dopamine. During the tasks, the researchers recorded physiological responses, such as heart rate and sweating.

What was found? The group of people who reported not finding music rewarding also showed no physiological response to music -- that is, their heart rate and sweat responses did not spike. In comparison, the people who found pleasure in music did show a physiological response to it. However, there was no difference between the three groups when it came to finding the money task rewarding -- they all exhibited similar reaction times, increased heart rates, and an increased sweat response.

"The idea that people can be sensitive to one type of reward and not to another suggests that there might be different ways to access the reward system and that, for each person, some ways might be more effective than others," Marco-Pallarés said in the statement.

The researchers said their findings may lead to a better understanding of the brain's reward system and even shed light on addiction and mood disorders.

The study was published in the journal Current Biology on March 6.

Kanye West, Rick Ross & Big Sean Perform 'Sanctified' On 'The Arsenio Hall Show'

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On Wednesday night, Arsenio Hall had Prince as a guest on his show. And Thursday night, he had Rick Ross, who brought out Kanye West and Big Sean to perform the track "Sanctified," off of Ross' new album "Mastermind," for the first time. As you'd expect, the crowd went nuts when Ye pops out onto the stage.


Deion Sanders And His Talented Teenage Son Play The Blues (VIDEO)

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Deion Sanders' teenage son Shilo is a talented musician who hopes to make it big in the entertainment industry one day. While impressed with his son's skills, Deion says his first priority is making sure he goes to college.

"Shilo's a very talented kid, in many areas of his life," Deion says on his new docu-series, "Deion's Family Playbook." "But he has to understand that school comes first."

Watch the above video to hear Shilo play the blues -- accompanied by none other than Deion "Prime Time" Sanders on vocals.

"Deion's Family Playbook" airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.

'Grace Of Monaco' Trailer Makes Nicole Kidman Royalty

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Nicole Kidman stars as Grace Kelly in the new trailer for the upcoming film about the famed princess. Kidman appears in "Grace of Monaco" alongside Tim Roth, Milo Ventimiglia, Parker Posey and Frank Langella. In the latest clip from the film, she becomes Grace, making the transition from Hollywood stardom to European royalty. "Grace of Monaco," which was once expected to be a player in the most recent Oscar season but has instead seen months of delays, is now scheduled to open the Cannes Film Festival in May.

"It just wasn't ready," Weinstein Company co-chair Harvey Weinstein said of the film's delays. "The score wasn't ready, a lot of things weren't ready." The film's director, Olivier Dahan ("La vie en Rose"), thought otherwise. He hinted at disagreements with Weinstein in an interview last fall.

Check out the clip of Kidman as Kelly below.

Fire Destroys Yet Another Heidelberg House In Detroit

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DETROIT (AP) — A fire has destroyed another house that's part of the Heidelberg Project interactive outdoor art installation in Detroit.

Arson investigator Lt. Joseph Crandall says crews responded at 3 a.m. Friday to the blaze that ultimately burned the house to the ground. It was known as the "Party Animal" house or "Doll House" because it was covered in stuffed animals and dolls. No injuries were reported in the fire. An adjacent home was damaged.

The Heidelberg Project has been the target of at least eight suspicious fires since May. There have been no arrests, but local and federal officials are investigating.

Tyree Guyton founded the project in 1986 as a response to urban decay. The sculpture park mixes vacant houses and empty yards with artistic themes.

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Online:


http://www.heidelberg.org


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Information from: WDIV-TV, http://www.clickondetroit.com

Full 'Game Of Thrones' Mixtape, 'Catch The Throne,' Released

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In the days of old, epic battles and stories were commemorated in ballads and lays. "Game of Thrones" has played with (and updated) that concept to create "Catch the Throne," a hip-hop mixtape that would have everyone in Westeros on their feet.

Plenty of hip-hop artists rap about power, women and riches, but not quite like this. Each song starts out with a bit of dialogue from the series, setting the tone and establishing the beat's subject before transitioning into hip-hop.

Listen to the entire mixtape below or on SoundCloud.

6 Potential Breakout Stars At 2014's SXSW Film Festival

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In recent years, the South by Southwest Film Festival has enhanced the cultural visibility of Lena Dunham, Brie Larson, the casts of "Bridesmaids" and "21 Jump Street" and many other movies and stars. Which actors and actresses might find themselves on the receiving end of an Austin bump this year? Ahead six potential breakout stars to watch at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival. (For full SXSW coverage from The Huffington Post, head here. The film portion of this year's fest runs from March 7 through March 15.)

Sophia Takal, "Wild Canaries"
sophia takal

Takal, known for indie films such as "Gabi on the Roof in July," "Supporting Characters" and "All the Light in the Sky," produced and stars in "Wild Canaries," a comic, modern-day noir from Lawrence Michael Levine. Funny, mysterious and highly original, "Wild Canaries" could become the film of choice for discerning BAM members later this year, with Takal taking up the slack left behind by burgeoning mainstream star Greta Gerwig.

Kate Lyn Sheil, "The Heart Machine"
kate lyn sheil

Sheil, who played Rachel Posner's friend and lover on the second season of "House of Cards," stars with John Gallagher Jr. in "The Heart Machine," a romantic drama about a couple who meet online but aren't necessarily what they first seem. Sheil keeps her true emotions and motivations closed off for much of the film, a trick that only makes her character more intriguing and alive. It's a performance that would make Brit Marling proud, and one that could launch Sheil to the next level.

Ellar Coltrane, "Boyhood"
ellar coltrane

Coltrane's breakthrough might happen faster than expected, if only because he ages from 7 to 18 over the course of Richard Linklater's "Boyhood." (Linklater's ambitious feature, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was shot over the course of 12 years.) That means Coltrane goes from precocious child actor with questionable skills (but it's okay because he's a kid) to a young adult only just understanding his powers. Think: Dane DeHaan, should Coltrane want to continue acting.

Harry Treadaway, "Honeymoon"
harry treadaway

Treadaway, the twin brother of actor Luke Treadaway, has two big events planned for this year's SXSW: the world premiere of the horror thriller "Honeymoon" and the debut of "Penny Dreadful," a new Showtime series that stars Treadaway as Dr. Victor Frankenstein.

Bridey Elliott & Clare McNulty, "Fort Tilden"
fort tilden

What if Lena Dunham's "Girls" had a baby with "For a Good Time Call"? It might look something like "Fort Tilden," a Brooklyn-based comedy that stars Bridey Elliott and Clare McNulty as two best friends who are horrible, self-centered narcissists in the best and worst ways possible. Sure to be polarizing, "Fort Tilden" should do wonders for its lead actresses: both Elliott (sister of Abby Elliott) and McNulty wring real laughs out of the even the film's most uncomfortable moments.
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