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A Conversation with ABFF ‘Emerging Director’ Star Victoria About Her Migrant Film ‘La Ruta’ [EUR Exclusive]

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Star Victoria / Twitter @TheStarVictoria

*We caught up with filmaker Star Victoria to dish about her acclaimed short film “LA RUTA,” which screened in the Emerging Directors section of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) in August.

The story is a timely look at the migrant journey from Mexico into the United States, and centers on a young Guatemalan mother desperate to flee her homeland.

The synopsis for the film is as follows:

Mexico’s Route of Death is as perilous as it is risky. It is a journey no one should ever have to endure alone.  Lucia is a desperate mother fleeing from her Guatemala homeland, determined to keep her young daughter safe. A new life is promising and she risks embarking on an uncertain journey across Mexico’s rugged Route of Death.  Lucia must be resourceful to survive the expedition, in hopes of finding sanctuary in America. While traveling, she meets Matias, an off-handed father, making the trek with his son, Nicolas. Lucia and Matias are two different parents on one courageous journey to freedom.

They will work together through challenges, and endure the rising tides of hopelessness, to make it safely to the border, but when the harsh realities of LA RUTA push them to a breaking point, their survival instincts kick in, forcing them to make unimaginable choices.  Together, they will sacrifice everything they hold close to their hearts, in order to reach the United States.
and Victoria tells us her deeply personal connection to the narrative. 

Victoria, a director mentee in Ryan Murphy’s HALF initiative, tells us she has a deeply personal connection to the narrative.

“Well, I was not a migrant, I’m actually from Syracuse, New York. But it is personal in a sense to me because I was raised in a foster home from one to eight years old, with one single family living in Lafayette, New York. I was taken from them at the age of eight because my biological mother wanted to get us back. I don’t know what my life would have been like if I would have still remained with them,” she tells EURweb.

Read more of our conversation below. 

READ MORE: Instagram Star Kwaylon ‘BlameItOnKway’ Rogers Talks Tyler Perry’s Influence and Paying It Forward [EUR Exclusive]

 

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Talk about what you hope viewers are left thinking and talking about after they watch this. You hear about the migrant journey in the news, and especially since Trump has been in office, and I’m often left with wondering about the children. What happens to the kids? And this film really leaves you thinking about that. 

Star Victoria: I hope that they take away the heavy feeling that the characters, the mother and the daughter, felt when they were torn apart, and that it sticks with the audience member to get them to act and to do something, whether it’s research more about the migrants’ journey here and the zero tolerance policy that existed earlier, so that they will try to reach out and find organizations that are dealing with migrants’ journeys and organizations who are trying to help the journey be safer. 

Because the journey itself coming from Central America through Mexico is just very dangerous. The actual route in Mexico, it’s a true route called the Route of Death, which originally was going to be the name of the movie. I was going to call it La Ruta de la Muerte, but I just felt like having the word Route of Death in it gave a little bit too much negative incantation to the overall film, and I didn’t want that to be the main focus. I really wanted people to relate with the characters’ journey in general and the bonding of parents and children so that when the ending does hit them, they really are stunned and they just kind of sit there for a moment and take it all in and say, “What can I do to help fix this situation? How do we act to make sure that this doesn’t happen again? And the kids that are currently in cages and the parents that are currently in cages, how do we help get them together?”

We’ve all heard the stories that these kids were ripped away from their parents without even any type of system to pinpoint who the parent of the child is once they were torn apart. And then some of them go into these foster homes for a few months and stuff like that while they’re here trying to figure out what they’re going to do with the kids, and they just don’t know how to get these kids back to their parents, and it’s just horrible. They’re just creating this whole … it’s not so much of a genocide because it’s death, but it’s a genocide of the family because they’re killing the family when they’re pulling two people apart, or three or four people apart and not being able to put them back together. And what gives us the right to do that? You know what I mean? 

La Ruta movie - Twitter

‘La Ruta’ movie via Twitter

Is this story, are these characters personal for you in any way?

Star Victoria: Well, I was not a migrant, I’m actually from Syracuse, New York. But it is personal in a sense to me because I was raised in a foster home from one to eight years old, with one single family living in Lafayette, New York, which is right outside of Syracuse, and this was the only family I knew as a kid. I mean, from one years old I was in this foster family, and they raised me and they were wonderful parents. I was taken from them at the age of eight because my biological mother wanted to get us back. I was happy and content, and I don’t know what my life would have been like if I would have still remained with them.

My life after going and living with my mother was a struggle. It was an abusive relationship. She was an alcoholic, she was dealing drugs, she was in an abusive relationship herself. All my sisters and brothers, my biological sister and brothers, they pretty much all ran away, and I just had to remain in a very abusive house verbally and physically and mentally, because I don’t know how I knew, I just knew that I had to find a way to get to college, to better myself, to break the cycle of this life that I was living.

I was very reminiscent about the foster family that I had, although when I was torn from them, I never reached back out to them because I don’t know, I just … you feel some type of way when you’re eight years old, you don’t know what to do. You’re just kind of like okay, this is my life, I’m a part of the system. The system has dictated that these people are no longer a part of my life but this person is, even though I don’t know this person, I’ve never met this person, or met them sporadically when I had to go to those social service buildings and have an hour, you meet your parents for an hour in a room with people who are standing over your shoulder making sure and watching you interact with your biological parents.

And it’s just, that’s the lifestyle I had from one to actually 10. I was in a separate foster home from eight to 10. But the first one is like, I think the point is that this is the family I grew up with. These are my parents, my brothers and sisters, this is who I knew as a kid, and then I was ripped away from them by the system. So that’s another reason why I was able to really have a very intimate connection with the story because of that.

Are there common misconceptions about the migrant journey? 

Star Victoria: Yeah, absolutely. So it may be a little naive, but the kind of stuff that floats around, or the misconception that’s floating around at least from my perspective that I’ve heard of, was that you see these Americans that are upset about how these migrants coming over here and they’re coming over to take our jobs. That seems to be the main issue that people had. like, “It’s America, it’s our country. If they take our jobs, we’re not going to be able to work,” and blah, blah, blah.

So it was interesting to me… the idea that Americans believe that. That was what made me really want to research further into why these migrants are traveling and especially in 2018 when I saw these 6,000 migrants coming over. I mean, it was a whole massive influx of people from Central America. And you get a couple of people here and there, you don’t really think too much about it. You’re just kind of like, “You know what, they just are coming over here for whatever,” but when you get 6,000 people coming at once, getting ready to bust down the door, you have to ask yourself, why are all these people fleeing their country?

So I started doing more research into the Central American countries, especially Guatemala, and you find out that their country is just riddled with so much turmoil and extortion, and people are being just abused. Kids are being sold into slavery, used as mules, and parents are being threatened and killed if they don’t allow their kid to work for some of the cartels. And then the government itself is just a mess because of again, America butting in and trying to instill their own leaders in that country and then that fell apart, and it’s just been a rebellion ever since from the early ’70s.

And so you start to understand that they’re not coming over here for a job, they’re coming over here for the opportunity to live, to have a life without living with fear, to have a life where they can actually grow and be happy and their kids can be safe and they can prosper and just live a life without fear and turmoil. And I don’t blame them. I really don’t blame them.

What’s been most rewarding about having your short film compete in a major festival like ABFF?

Star Victoria: It’s been wonderful getting the notice that I have been struggling to get as a filmmaker. I’ve been directing films since 2004, and so I’m finally starting to get noticed by certain agents, managers, news sources, just people in general. They’re starting to see that I can direct and tell a good story that gets the audience to really pontificate about life in general. 

ABFF is such a highly reputable festival. I’ve had friends who’ve attended it and had their projects in it and their careers have taken off, and so I was extremely ecstatic to get into ABF. I wish we could have actually went in person because I have gone … 2018 for another film that I actually was the assistant director on, actually it’s called Lalos House. It won the student Oscar, the director Kelley Kali, another fellow USC student. And so I mean, it was just a great time. They really champion their filmmakers. They really do everything that they can to try to help push the filmmakers to get noticed. Being an emerging director at ABFF, so far we’ve had meetings with Meet the Press, we’ve been able to have pitch sessions with the press to try to pitch our new projects. And the press includes agents, managers and whoever else is looking at these emerging directors for whatever purpose. So we’ve done that.

Even today later on, I’m actually doing … meet the executives of Netflix, another opportunity for these emerging directors to just listen to Netflix executives about pitching our stories to Netflix, and what Netflix looks for in a story that they’re trying to produce and so on and so forth. So they are really putting forth the effort to push us to get noticed and help traject our careers to the next level, and I totally appreciate that. A lot of festivals don’t do that. A lot of festivals, it’s kind of like they have a few functions and networking parties with other filmmakers. But ABFF, with the strong reputation that they have as being a very highly respectable black filmmaking festival, they are really going to bat for us. So I’m completely appreciative and ecstatic about being a part of them, and I look forward to seeing what comes out of the opportunity. 

 

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Where can people follow you or follow the journey of this film to stay updated about when it’s going to be available to the public?

Star Victoria: The easiest way for them to find out where La Ruta is going is to follow us on Instagram, which is La Ruta Film on Instagram, or they can follow me, Star Victoria Director on Instagram, or they can just go to the website, larutafilm.com, and they will find out everything about me as a director and about the film. We have a page about the screening dates and what festivals dates. 

They can also follow the Facebook page which is Facebook La Ruta Film on Facebook. So there’s a bunch of ways to keep up with us to make sure they’re in the know when it comes down to La Ruta, and if they want to keep up with me and know what I’m doing with my career as I continue to move forward.

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Events

Fifth Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards Nominations Unveiled

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Los Angeles, CA — The Critics Choice Association (CCA) has announced the nominees for the fifth annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards (CCDA). The winners will be revealed in a Special Announcement on Monday, November 16, 2020.

The Critics Choice Association will once again be honoring the year’s finest achievements in documentaries released in theaters, on TV and on major digital platforms, as determined by the voting of qualified CCA members.

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution, Gunda, and Mr. SOUL! lead this year’s nominations with five each.

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution is nominated for Best Documentary Feature, James Lebrecht and Nicole Newnham for Best Director, Best Editing, Best Archival Documentary, and Best Historical/Biography Documentary. The film also received an honor for Judith Heumann for Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary.

Gunda is nominated for Best Documentary Feature, Victor Kossakovsky for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Science/Nature Documentary.

Mr. SOUL! is nominated for Best Documentary Feature, Best First Documentary Feature, Best Narration, Best Archival Documentary, and Best Historical/Biographical Documentary.

Recognized with four nominations each are Athlete A, Dick Johnson is Dead, My Octopus Teacher, and Totally Under Control.

The nominations for Athlete A are Best Documentary Feature, Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk for Best Director, Best Editing, and Best Sports Documentary. Maggie Nichols, Rachael Denhollander, and Jamie Dantzscher are also being recognized with the honor of Most Compelling Living Subjects of a Documentary.

The nominations for Dick Johnson is Dead are Best Documentary Feature, Kirsten Johnson for Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Narration. The film also received an honor for Dick Johnson for Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary.

The nominations for My Octopus Teacher are Best Documentary Feature, Best Cinematography, Best Narration, and Best Science/Nature Documentary.

The nominations for Totally Under Control are Best Editing, Best Score, Best Narration, and Best Political Documentary. The film also received an honor for Dr. Rick Bright for Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary.

“At a unique time for the entertainment industry and the world, documentaries are more important and fortunately more abundant and more available and more essential than ever,” said Christopher Campbell, President of the Critics Choice Association Documentary Branch. “In 2020, documentaries have taken us to places and shown us perspectives we’ve never experienced before. They’ve chronicled events and life stories that are enlightening and enthralling – and sometimes frightening. It is a great honor for the CCA to celebrate these stories and subjects and shed light on the work of so many incredible filmmakers. The Documentary Branch faced its greatest task yet considering the quantity and quality of nonfiction cinema released this year. Ultimately, these nominees represent the best of the best of a remarkably fruitful moment for documentary filmmaking.”

At last year’s fourth annual CCDA event, Apollo 11 took home the evening’s most prestigious award for Best Documentary. Peter Jackson (They Shall Not Grow Old), and Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar (American Factory), tied for Best Director. American Factory also won the award for Best Political Documentary, and subsequently received many more accolades including the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.


The nominees for the fifth annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards are:

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Athlete A (Netflix)
Belushi (Showtime)
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix)
Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix)
Feels Good Man (Wavelength Productions/PBS Independent Lens)
The Fight (Magnolia Pictures)
The Go-Go’s (Showtime)
Gunda (Neon)
Mr. SOUL! (Shoes in the Bed Productions)
My Octopus Teacher (Netflix)
The Painter and the Thief (Neon)
A Secret Love (Netflix)
The Social Dilemma (Netflix)
Time (Amazon Studios)


BEST DIRECTOR

Garrett Bradley, Time (Amazon Studios)
Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, Athlete A (Netflix)
Kirsten Johnson, Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix)
Victor Kossakovsky, Gunda (Neon)
James Lebrecht and Nicole Newnham, Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix)
Dawn Porter, John Lewis: Good Trouble (Magnolia Pictures)
Benjamin Ree, The Painter and the Thief (Neon)

BEST FIRST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Robert S. Bader, Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes (HBO)
Chris Bolan, A Secret Love (Netflix)
Melissa Haizlip, Mr. SOUL! (Shoes in the Bed Productions)
Arthur Jones, Feels Good Man (Wavelength Productions/PBS Independent Lens)
Elizabeth Leiter and Kim Woodard, Jane Goodall: The Hope (National Geographic)
Elizabeth Lo, Stray (Magnolia Pictures)
Sasha Joseph Neulinger, Rewind (Grizzly Creek Films/PBS Independent Lens)


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw, The Truffle Hunters (Sony Pictures Classics)
Roger Horrocks, My Octopus Teacher (Netflix)
Kirsten Johnson, Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix)
Victor Kossakovsky and Egil Håskjold Larsen, Gunda (Neon)
Scott Ressler, Neil Gelinas and Stefan Wiesen, The Last Ice (National Geographic)
Gianfranco Rosi, Notturno (Stemal Entertainment)
Ruben Woodin Dechamps, The Reason I Jump (Kino Lorber)

BEST EDITING

Don Bernier, Athlete A (Netflix)
Eli Despres, Greg Finton and Kim Roberts, The Fight (Magnolia Pictures)
Lindy Jankura and Alex Keipper, Totally Under Control (Neon)
Helen Kearns, Assassins (Greenwich Entertainment)
Victor Kossakovsky and Ainara Vera, Gunda (Neon)
Eileen Meyer and Andrew Gersh, Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix)
Charlotte Munch Bengtsen, The Truffle Hunters (Sony Pictures Classics)

BEST SCORE

Ari Balouzian and Ryan Hope, Feels Good Man (Wavelength Productions/PBS Independent Lens)
Marco Beltrami, Brandon Roberts and Buck Sanders, The Way I See It (Focus Features)
Tyler Durham, Sven Faulconer and Xander Rodzinski, The Last Ice (National Geographic)
Peter Nashel and Brian Deming, Totally Under Control (Neon)
Daniel Pemberton, Rising Phoenix (Netflix)
Jeff Tweedy, Long Gone Summer (ESPN)
Jeff Tweedy, Spencer Tweedy and Sammy Tweedy, Showbiz Kids (HBO)

BEST NARRATION

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (Netflix)
David Attenborough, Narrator
David Attenborough, Writer
Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix)
Kirsten Johnson, Narrator
Kirsten Johnson, Writer
Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds (Apple)
Werner Herzog, Narrator
Werner Herzog, Writer
Mr. SOUL! (Shoes in the Bed Productions)
Blair Underwood, Narrator
Ellis Haizlip, Writer
My Octopus Teacher (Netflix)
Craig Foster, Narrator
Craig Foster, Writer
Time (Amazon Studios)
Fox Rich, Narrator
Fox Rich, Writer
Totally Under Control (Neon)
Alex Gibney, Narrator
Alex Gibney, Writer

BEST ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTARY

Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes (HBO)
Belushi (Showtime)
Class Action Park (HBO)
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix)
MLK/FBI (Field of Vision/IFC Films)
Mr. SOUL! (Shoes in the Bed Productions)
Spaceship Earth (Neon)

BEST HISTORICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL DOCUMENTARY 

Belushi (Showtime)
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix)
Howard (Disney+)
John Lewis: Good Trouble (Magnolia Pictures)
Mr. SOUL! (Shoes in the Bed Production)
Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado (Netflix)
Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (HBO)

BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY

Beastie Boys Story (Apple)
Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan (Magnolia Pictures)
The Go-Go’s (Showtime)
Laurel Canyon (Epix)
Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (Magnolia Pictures)
Other Music (Factory 25)
Zappa (Magnolia Pictures)

BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY

All In: The Fight for Democracy (Amazon Studios)
Boys State (Apple)
John Lewis: Good Trouble (Magnolia Pictures)
MLK/FBI (Field of Vision/IFC Films)
The Social Dilemma (Netflix)
Totally Under Control (Neon)
The Way I See It (Focus Features)

BEST SCIENCE/NATURE DOCUMENTARY

Coded Bias (7th Empire Media/PBS Independent Lens)
Fantastic Fungi (Moving Art)
Gunda (Neon)
I Am Greta (Hulu)
The Last Ice (National Geographic)
My Octopus Teacher (Netflix)
Spaceship Earth (Neon)

BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY

Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes (HBO)
Athlete A (Netflix)
Be Water (ESPN)
A Most Beautiful Thing (50 Eggs Films)
Red Penguins (Universal Pictures)
Rising Phoenix (Netflix)
You Cannot Kill David Arquette (Super LTD)

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY 

Blackfeet Boxing: Not Invisible (ESPN)
(Directors: Kristen Lappas and Tom Rinaldi. Producers: Craig Lazarus, José Morales, Lindsay Rovegno, Victor Vitarelli and Ben Webber)
The Claudia Kishi Club (Netflix)
(Director and Producer: Sue Ding)
Crescendo! (Quibi)
(Director: Alex Mallis. Producers: Matt O’Neill and Perri Peltz)
Elevator Pitch (Field of Vision)
(Director and Producer: Martyna Starosta)
Hunger Ward (Spin Film/Vulcan Productions/RYOT Films)
(Director and Producer: Skye Fitzgerald. Producer: Michael Scheuerman)
Into the Fire (National Geographic)
(Director: Orlando von Einsiedel. Producers: Mark Bauch, Harri Grace and Dan Lin)
My Father the Mover (MTV Documentary Films)
(Director: Julia Jansch. Producer: Mandilakhe Yengo)
The Rifleman (Field of Vision)
(Director: Sierra Pettengill. Producer: Arielle de Saint Phalle)
The Speed Cubers (Netflix)
(Director and Producer: Sue Kim. Producers: Evan Krauss and Chris Romano)
St. Louis Superman (MTV Documentary Films)
(Directors and Producers: Sami Khan and Smriti Mundhra. Producer: Poh Si Teng)

MOST COMPELLING LIVING SUBJECTS OF A DOCUMENTARY (HONOR)

Dr. Rick Bright – Totally Under Control (Neon)
Steven Garza – Boys State (Apple)
The Go-Go’s – The Go-Go’s (Showtime)
Judith Heumann – Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix)
Dick Johnson – Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix)
Maggie Nichols, Rachael Denhollander, Jamie Dantzscher – Athlete A (Netflix)
Fox Rich – Time (Amazon)
Pete Souza – The Way I See It (Focus Features)
Taylor Swift – Miss Americana (Netflix)
Greta Thunberg – I Am Greta (Hulu)

DISTRIBUTOR NOMINATION TOTALS:

Netflix: 31
Neon: 14
Magnolia Pictures: 9
HBO: 5
Showtime: 6
Amazon: 5
National Geographic: 5
PBS Independent Lens: 5
Shoes in the Bed Productions: 5
Apple: 4
ESPN: 3
Focus Features: 3
Wavelength Productions: 3
Field of Vision: 2
Hulu: 2
IFC: 2
MTV Documentary Films: 2
Sony: 2
7th Empire Media: 1
50 Eggs Films: 1
Disney+: 1
Epix: 1
Factory 25: 1
Greenwich Entertainment: 1
Grizzly Creek Films: 1
Kino Lorber: 1
Moving Art: 1
Quibi: 1
Spin Film/Vulcan Productions/RYOT Films: 1
Stemal Entertainment: 1
Super LTD: 1
Universal: 1

About CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS

The Critics Choice Documentary Awards are an off-shoot of The Critics Choice Awards, which are bestowed annually by the CCA to honor the finest in cinematic and televised/streaming achievement. Historically, the Critics Choice Awards are the most-accurate predictor of the Academy Award nominations.

The 26th annual Critics Choice Awards will air LIVE on The CW Network on Sunday, March 7, 2021, with acclaimed film, television, and stage star Taye Diggs returning to host for his third consecutive time.  The show will continue its combined Film and Television awards format, honoring the finest in both cinematic and televised/streaming achievement, and take place once again at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, health considerations permitting.

About CRITICS CHOICE ASSOCIATION (CCA)

The Critics Choice Association is the largest critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 400 television, radio and online critics and entertainment reporters. It was organized last year with the formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, recognizing the blurring of the distinctions between film, television, and streaming content. For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com.

  

Hashtag: #criticschoice
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CriticsChoiceAwards/
Instagram: @criticschoice
Twitter: @criticschoice

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Laura Danford Mandel
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Family of Army Specialist Vanessa Guillén on ‘Red Table Talk: The Estefans’ – TODAY on Facebook Watch

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Gloria Estefan & Gloria Guillen

*In the upcoming fourth episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans, premiering this Wednesday, October 28 at 9amPT / 12pmET on Facebook Watch, the Estefans are joined by the family of Army Specialist Vanessa Guillén, including her mother Gloria Guillén and her sisters, Mayra and Lupe, for an emotional conversation about the tragedy at the Fort Hood army base in Texas.

In April, 20-year-old Army Specialist Vanessa Guillén was found dead outside a Texas Army Base. Now, her devastated family are coming to the Red Table to demand justice and seek answers. Vanessa’s heartbroken mother sits down for an emotional one-on-one conversation with Gloria and reveals why she feels there is more to the story surrounding her beloved daughter’s death. Vanessa’s impassioned sisters share their gut-wrenching journey and the important work they’re doing to ensure this never happens again.

  • Series Description: A new addition to the “Red Table Talk” franchise on Facebook Watch, “Red Table Talk: The Estefans” features music icon and Grammy winner Gloria Estefan, her daughter and rising musician Emily Estefan and her niece and Daytime Emmy Award-winning Lili Estefan – three generations of women coming together for a new series of candid conversations with family, celebrity friends and more. No topic is off-limits as the women bring their own opinions and life experiences to the iconic table and to their communities.
  • Production: “Red Table Talk: The Estefans” is produced by Westbrook Studios, with Jada Pinkett Smith, Gloria Estefan, Ellen Rakieten & Miguel Melendez serving as executive producers.

 

 

 

 

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Hannah Macdonald
BECK MEDIA & MARKETING

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Entertainment

The Pulse of Entertainment: Brian Courtney Wilson Says Be ‘Still’ on New Album

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Grammy and Billboard Music Award nominated Brian Courtney Wilson releases ‘Still.’

*“Move past fear,” said Grammy nominated Brian Courtney Wilson about the meaning of the title to his new album “Still” (EMI/Motown Gospel). “You got to stay focused on your assignment. It’s in the Bible. Be still and keep moving without doubting and move mountains.”

“Still” is the Chicago native’s fifth album and in that time since 2009 he has garnered multi-Grammy nominations, a Billboard Music Award nomination, and has won multiple Stellar Awards, a Dove Award and an ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Award.  Featured artists on “Still” include Maranda Curtis and Jeff Pardo. Grammy nominated Eric Roberson (United Tenors) co-wrote the track “Waiting” which encourages one to recognize when God has answered your prayers.

“The best feeling I had was when Eric Roberson sent it to me,” Brian said about the single “Waiting.” “I was almost in tears. It’s why I was feeling this peace.”

Other tracks on the album include “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler);” “Ain’t No Need to Worry,” featuring Maranda; “Forever;” “Sure As;” the title track “Still;” “Merciful and Mighty,” and “Fear is Not Welcome,” featuring Jeff.

MORE NEWS: THE REAL: Behind The #EndSARS Movement + Sterling K. Brown On Tonight’s ‘This Is Us’ Premiere

Wilson launched his first solo tour, “Just (B) Tour,” just before the pandemic hit and grounded everyone home.

“It went well,” he said when I asked about the tour. “I’m looking forward to doing it again. We’re figuring out a way to do it virtually.” www.BrianCourtneyWilson.com

SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, MS, MBA, MPhil has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENTS: “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 21st year. Next events are coming to Los Angeles Saturday, November 7, 2020 via Zoom Video Conferencing and to Baltimore Saturday April 17, 2021 at Security Square Mall. The ULMII event is a free conference offering an Entertainment Business Panel Q&A Session, a Talent Showcase and Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $15,000 valued in prizes/product/services.  Log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information or to RSVP for Zoom Access email [email protected]

www.GoFundMe.com/Uplifting-Minds-II-Entertainment-Conference

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TV Calendar: Coming to Small Screens

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