While the producer, director, and cast walked the red carpet, guests started arriving to watch the special screening of Janked, the Movie, held at LA Film School in Hollywood, CA on Saturday, June 18, 2011 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The screening started at 6:00 pm and ended around 7:30 pm. At the end of the movie, producer/director Dakota Aesquivel brought some of the main characters to the stage for a question and answer session.
Editor’s Note: Story was proofread by Linda Krongold, our New York, NY Special Correspondent For Diversity News Magazine, published by Diversity News Publications. For more information you can contact her at email@example.com Also we want to congratulate and wish the producers, director, casts and crew good luck with the film. Readers you have a comment? or want to contact the writer, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, commonly referred to as Breaking Dawn, is an upcoming 2011/2012 two-part romantic-fantasy film directed by Bill Condon and based on the novel Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer.
The two parts form the fourth and final installment in the popular The Twilight Saga series. Wyck Godfrey and Karen Rosenfelt will serve as executive producers for the film, along with the author of the series, Stephenie Meyer; the screenplay will be written by Melissa Rosenberg, the screenwriter of the first three entries.All three main cast members, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, will reprise their roles.
Part 1 will be released on November 18, 2011, and Part 2 on November 16, 2012.[1
On November 4, 2010, Summit Entertainment released the official synopsis of the film:
In the highly anticipated next chapter of the blockbuster The Twilight Saga, the new found married bliss of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) is cut short when a series of betrayals and misfortunes threatens to destroy their world.
After their wedding, Bella and Edward travel to Rio de Janeiro for their honeymoon, where they finally give in to their passions. Bella soon discovers she is pregnant, and during a nearly fatal childbirth, Edward finally fulfills her wish to become immortal.
But the arrival of their remarkable daughter, Renesmee, sets in motion a perilous chain of events that pits the Cullens and their allies against the Volturi, the fearsome council of vampire leaders, setting the stage for an all-out battle.
The suspenseful and deeply romantic Breaking Dawn continues the epic tale of supernatural fantasy and passionate love that has made The Twilight Sagaa worldwide phenomenon.
About Robert Pattinson:
Robert Douglas Thomas Pattinson (born 13 May 1986) is an English actor, model, musician, and producer. Born and raised in London, Pattinson started out his career by playing the role of Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Later, he landed the leading role of Edward Cullen in the film adaptations of the Twilight novels by Stephenie Meyer, and came to worldwide international fame. Pattinson was ranked as one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood based on 2009 earnings. In 2010, Pattinson was named one of Timemagazine’s 100 Most Influential People in The World, and also in the same year Forbes ranked him as one of the most powerful celebrities in the world in the Celebrity 100.
About Kristen Stewart:
Kristen Jaymes Stewart (born April 9, 1990) is an American actress. She is best known for playing Bella Swan in The Twilight Saga. She has also starred in films such as Panic Room(2002), Zathura (2005), In the Land of Women (2007), The Messengers (2007), Adventureland(2009) and The Runaways (2010).
About Taylor Lautner:
Taylor Daniel Lautner (born February 11, 1992) is an American actor, voice actor, model, andmartial artist. As a child, Lautner took up martial arts and was ranked number one in his category by the American Sports Karate Association. Lautner soon thereafter began his acting career, appearing in bit roles in comedy series such as The Bernie Mac Show (2003) and My Wife and Kids (2004), before having voice roles in television series like What’s New, Scooby-Doo? (2005) and Danny Phantom (2005). In 2005, he appeared in the film, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, and starred in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D.
Lautner got his big break when he was cast as Jacob Black in The Twilight Saga film series, beginning with the first film, Twilight (2008). Lautner returned for the following two movies, The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010), and is set to appear in the last two films for the series, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. Lautner has been nominated for several awards for his work in the Twilight series, including honors at the MTV Movie Awards,People’s Choice Awards, and Scream Awards.
The late 2000s saw Lautner become a teen idol and rise as a sex symbol, after extensively changing his physique to keep the role of Jacob Black in further Twilight installments, and thereafter generating media attention for his good looks. In 2010, he was ranked second onGlamour‘s “The 50 Sexiest Men of 2010″ list, and fourth on People‘s “Most Amazing Bodies” list, among other honors. As of 2010, Lautner was considered the highest-paid teenage actor in Hollywood.
On Thursday, May 26, 2011 DreamWorks Pictures and Geffen Records announced today that multiple Grammy® Award–winning recording artist Mary J. Blige wrote and recorded an original song for the soundtrack of DreamWorks Pictures and Participant Media’s THE HELP, a film based on the New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, opening in theaters August 12, 2011. “The Help” soundtrack – music from the Motion picture, will feature the original song from Mary J Blige “The Living Proof.” The soundtrack, from Interscope Records, will be available Tuesday, July 26 at select Starbucks locations.
The song, “The Living Proof,” was written and recorded by Blige especially for THE HELP after she saw a screening of the film, which takes place in 1960s-era Mississippi and chronicles the journey of three very different women who come together and embark on a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. “The beautiful thing about these women is that they were very smart,” says Blige. “They chose to walk in love and forgiveness.” The film really celebrates the courage to inspire change, “To speak to so many women with this song means a lot to me” says Blige. “I wanted to be involved with this film, because I think we need to encourage each other more, we are here to tell a story.” Blige has received 9 Grammy® Awards and four American Music Awards as well as recorded eight multi-platinum albums. Mary J. Blige has sold over 50 million albums worldwide and her next album “My Life Too….The Journey Continues” will be released Sept 20, 2011.
Starring: Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Mike Vogel, Allison Janney, Chris Lowell
Studio: DreamWorks Pictures (Walt Disney Studios)
Release Date: August 12, 2011
Mary Jane Blige ( /ˈblaɪdʒ/; born January 11, 1971) is an American singer-songwriter, record producer and actress. A recipient of ten Grammy Awards and four American Music Awards, Blige has recorded eight multi-platinum albums. Blige has received the World Music Legends Award for combining hip hop and soul in the early 1990s. She was ranked number 100 in the list of 100 greatest singers of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. In November 2010, Billboard Magazine ranked Blige as the most successful female R&B artist of the past 25 years, she ranked second, placing her ahead of Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, and Whitney Houston.
Blige started her musical career in 1992, releasing her multi-platinum US selling debut album,What’s the 411? on MCA Records and Uptown. What’s the 411? gave Blige her first Billboard 200 top ten album, which has continued since the release of her debut album until her latest album, Stronger with Each Tear (2009), which became Blige’s seventh consecutive album to debut at number one or number two on the Billboard 200. As of 2010, Blige has sold over 50 million albums and 15 million singles.
About The Help Movie: Based on one of the most talked about books in years and a #1 New York Times best-selling phenomenon, “The Help” stars Emma Stone (“Easy A”) as Skeeter, Academy Award®–nominated Viola Davis (“Doubt”) as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny—three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s, who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. From their improbable alliance a remarkable sisterhood emerges, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that define them, and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed—even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the changing times. Deeply moving, filled with poignancy, humor and hope, “The Help” is a timeless and universal story about the ability to create change. From DreamWorks Pictures and Participant Media, “The Help” is directed by Tate Taylor and produced by Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett, with screenplay by Tate Taylor. “The Help” releases in theaters August 12, 2011. For more information visit http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1454029/
Sources: Wikipedia, Walt Disney Studios, EPK.TV
Photo credit to: The Help Facebook
Video courtesy of Walt Disney/TheHelpMovie
On Thursday, April 7, 2011 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that The Board of Governors of the Motion Picture Academy voted on Thursday to establish a new executive structure for the organization, replacing retiring executive director Bruce Davis with former Film Independent head Dawn Hudson and long-time Academy executive Ric Robertson, who will become the organization’s CEO and COO respectively. Robertson will report to Hudson in the new leadership tandem.
Hudson has spent 20 years at the helm of Film Independent, which grew from a small non-profit into a nationally recognized arts institution under her leadership. Film Independent’s two signature programs are the 26-year-old Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, held annually in June.
“The Academy is the gold standard for the world’s most influential art form, and I am humbled by what the Board of Governors, the Academy members, and the staff have accomplished under Bruce Davis’s leadership.” said Hudson. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to work with Ric, and to carry the Academy’s mission forward into the future.”
Robertson joined the Academy in 1981 following a short stint with the Los Angeles International Film Exposition (FILMEX), and became the organization’s second-in-command in 1989, when he was appointed Executive Administrator. In that position he has overseen the Academy’s public programming, its library and film archive as well as its public relations, marketing, legal affairs, and numerous awards-related events and activities.
“Having Bruce as a mentor has been tremendously valuable to me,” said Robertson. “It will serve me well as I move into this new management position and partnership with Dawn, as we help to write the Academy’s next chapter.”
Academy president Tom Sherak said that the new structure for the Academy’s executive staff had occurred to the officers of the organization as they began seriously considering the succession issue. “We’re a different organization than we used to be,” Sherak said, “with a range of activities that couldn’t have been conceived of when the present structure came into place. Now, with the leadership team of Dawn as our CEO and Ric as our COO, we have the ideal combination of new vision and institutional continuity to move us forward.”
Following a planned bylaw revision, already in the works, Hudson and Robertson will assume their new positions on June 1.
About The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards – in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners – the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies. For more information visit them at http://www.oscars.org
The event was held at The Majestic Crest Theatre 1262 Westwood Boulevard, Los Angeles, Ca, 90024 from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
“As the Publisher of this magazine I had the sincere honor of ‘Walking the Red Carpet’ at the World Premier of Damian Chapa’s film, “Brando- Unauthorized,” said Joseph J. O’Donnell, Publisher of The Eerie Digest.
He added “It was a superb job that Damian had done on researching the life of Brando and how he focused the movie not on Brando, but on Brando’s son, Christian.”
Other celebrities that attended the event were: Mark Valinsky, Emma Zerner, Alicia Miller, Cassandra Hepburn, Damian Chapa, Rico Chapa, Mia Hope, Vivica Mitra, Fivel Stewart, Maegan Stewart and Sage Stewart. As well Pamela Bach-Hasselhoff and Maria Conchita Alonso.
Mr. Continue “It was also a successful father/son collaboration as Damian’s own son, Ricco, portrayed the actor’s son in the film. A shaky start, caused by the loss of sound at the outset, was quickly overcome as the story unfolded. The audience became captivated as the true life of Brando revealed his troubled upbringing, flaws and triumphs, and his tragic end.”
“I was on the red carpet. It’s a great marketing tool at the right venue. This however this is the least of the reasons I was there. I produce and act in independent films and always like to learn from others. I’ve been watching Damian develop as a film maker and actor over the years. He’s out there following his dream and developing his styles.” Said Mark Valinsky, Producer, Actor and Photographer. He continue “A movie maker and actor always has something he wants to say to the audience to cause them to think, consider and feel.”
Mr. Valinsky concluded “Being Jewish I wasn’t insulted. And there’s plenty of very rich and influential people in of all religions. Only if you blame someone or something for your condition do you give it cause and power over you.”
Movie producers hope this movie get pick up by major studio for marketing and distribution but the story is very controversial.
Mr. Joseph J. O’Donnell, Publisher of The Eerie Digest Magazine Concluded ”Damian Chapa stuck to his course throughout, and I found myself mesmerized by Ricco Chapa’s superb acting as he portrayed Christian Brando’s addiction and demise as his health deteriorated. So much history of Brando’s private life was kept from the public’s eyes, yet Chapa held it out for the world to see, and understand.”
Editor’s Note: You can read more about the film coverage at our media partner http://www.eeriedigest.com/wordpress/2010/11/the-eerie-digest-goes-to-the-movies/
Special Thanks to Ruben Murillo for taking photos for Diversity News Publications and to Mr. O’Donnell for saving seats for myself and Ruben inside the Theatre.
Additional Tickets Released November 3 for: Los Angeles Times Roundtable with Actors Carey Mulligan, Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield; Conversations with Halle Berry and Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin; and a 3D Bootcamp, including a Preview of TRON: LEGACY Footage
AFI FEST 2010 presented by Audi announced on Wednesday, November 3, 2010 the full slate of Special Presentations to be offered during the festival, including three new events that have been added to the program: CINEMA’S LEGACY WITH SCREENWRITER AARON SORKIN on November 7; ON ACTING – A CONVERSATION WITH HALLE BERRY on November 9; and a secret screening in Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on November 9 at 9:30 p.m featuring an upcoming major Hollywood release. The title of the secret screening film will be announced on the morning of November 9 but tickets are available online starting November 3, 2010. These events join the previously announced Special Presentations featuring 3D BOOTCAMP, presented by the Sony 3D Technology Center, on November 10, which includes a 20-minute preview of TRON: LEGACY in 3D, and THE LOS ANGELES TIMES YOUNG HOLLYWOOD roundtable with Carey Mulligan (NEVER LET ME GO, AN EDUCATION) and Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield (THE SOCIAL NETWORK) on November 5.
CINEMA’S LEGACY WITH SCREENWRITER AARON SORKIN Sunday, November 7, 2:00 p.m. at the Egyptian Theatre Presented by the American Film Institute and the Skirball Cultural Center, this ongoing Cinema’s Legacy series invites contemporary filmmakers to screen work they credit with encouraging and shaping their art. For this event, a conversation and Q&A with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin will precede a screening of Alan J. Pakula’s ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN (1976). The conversation will be moderated by AFI Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence Jim Hosney. Aaron Sorkin graduated from Syracuse University with a B.F.A. in Theatre in 1983. He made his Broadway playwriting debut at the age of 28 with the military courtroom drama, “A Few Good Men,” for which he received the John Gassner Award as Outstanding New American Playwright. The following year saw his off-Broadway play, “Making Movies,” and in 2007 he returned to Broadway with “The Farnsworth Invention,” directed by Des McAnuff. His film adaptation of A FEW GOOD MEN was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. He followed this success with the screenplays for MALICE and THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT. Sorkin produced and wrote the television series SPORTS NIGHT for ABC for two years, and then spent the next four years writing and producing the NBC series THE WEST WING, winning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series all four years. For his work on THE WEST WING, Mr. Sorkin also twice received the Peabody Award and the Humanitas Prize, and three Television Critics Association Awards. He also won a Golden Globe, a Writers Guild Award and three Producers Guild Awards. In 2006, Sorkin wrote and produced the NBC television series STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP. He also wrote the 2007 film CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR. His latest film, THE SOCIAL NETWORK, is directed by David Fincher and stars Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake.
ON ACTING – A CONVERSATION WITH HALLE BERRY Tuesday, November 9, 7:00 p.m. at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre Academy Award® winning actress Halle Berry returns to AFI FEST to talk about her extraordinary career and her influences, with film clips from her work shown throughout the event. She will soon be seen in FRANKIE & ALICE, a psychological drama – produced by Berry – based on the true story of Frankie Murdoch, a woman suffering with multiple personality disorder in early 1970s Los Angeles, also starring Stellan Skarsgård. Berry continues to break down barriers with a multitude of critically acclaimed, diverse roles and success at the box office. She won the Academy Award® for Best Actress in 2001′s MONSTER’S BALL, in addition to the SAG Award, National Board of Review and the Berlin Silver Bear Award. Berry also earned an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG and NAACP Image Award for her performance in HBO’s INTRODUCING DOROTHY DANDRIDGE, which she also produced. She made her feature film debut in Spike Lee’s groundbreaking 1991 film, JUNGLE FEVER, and has gone on to appear in projects as diverse as BULWORTH, opposite Warren Beatty, LOSING ISAIAH, also starring Jessica Lange, the James Bond film DIE ANOTHER DAY, the boxoffice smash X-MEN series, SWORDFISH with John Travolta and Hugh Jackman, and THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE, opposite Benicio Del Toro.
LOS ANGELES TIMES ROUNDTABLE – YOUNG HOLLYWOOD WITH CAREY MULLIGAN, JESSE EISENBERG AND ANDREW GARFIELD Friday, November 5, 7:00 p.m. at the Egyptian Theater The Times film writer Amy Kaufman sits down with three of Hollywood’s most acclaimed young talents – Carey Mulligan (NEVER LET ME GO, AN EDUCATION), Jesse Eisenberg & Andrew Garfield (THE SOCIAL NETWORK) – for an intimate, inside look the art of acting, life behind the scenes and the approaching awards season.
3D BOOTCAMP – PRESENTED BY THE SONY 3D TECHNOLOGY CENTER AND FEATURING A PREVIEW OF TRON: LEGACY Wednesday, November 10, 10:00 a.m. at Mann’s Chinese Theatre Buzz Hayes, Senior Vice President of the Sony 3D Technology Center, will present this special seminar on the making of 3D entertainment. The bootcamp will cover the history and foundation of 3D production, including the fundamentals of making good 3D, basic terminology, tools and techniques and 3D “dos and don’ts.” The seminar includes a 20-minute preview of TRON: LEGACY, a 3D high-tech adventure set in a digital world. Walt Disney Pictures will release TRON: LEGACY in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D on December 17, 2010.
“SECRET SCREENING” AT AFI FEST Tuesday, November 9, 9:30 p.m. at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre AFI FEST will offer a secret screening of a soon-to-be-released major Hollywood film. The title of the film will be announced on the day of the screening, but free tickets can be reserved now through the AFI FEST box office and website. Free tickets to all AFI FEST events are available at AFI.com/AFIFEST, 1.888.AFI FEST and on-site at the AFI FEST box office at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. Additional tickets will be released the day before each event. Rush Lines will begin forming one hour before the scheduled event start times. Becoming a patron of the festival and purchasing a Patron Package or one of the other Festival Passes secures reserved seats and other festival benefits. Those who become an AFI member or purchase an AFI FEST Patron Package or Festival Pass will receive a commemorative poster featuring artwork created by Guest Artistic Director David Lynch exclusively for AFI FEST 2010. Poster quantities are limited. Additional information is available at AFI.com/AFIFEST. AFI FEST 2010 presented by Audi will take place in Hollywood, California at the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Mann Chinese 6 theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel from November 4-11, 2010. About the American Film Institute: AFI is America’s promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work, and to educate the next generation of storytellers. As a national, public-supported educational and cultural organization, AFI provides leadership in film, television and digital media and is dedicated to initiatives that engage the past, the present and the future of the moving image arts. AFI preserves the legacy of America’s film heritage through the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, an authoritative record of American films from 1893 to the present, and the AFI Archives, which contains rare footage from across the history of the moving image. AFI honors the artists and their work through a variety of annual programs and special events, including the AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI Awards. For 38 years, the AFI Life Achievement Award has remained the highest honor for a career in film while AFI Awards, the institute’s almanac for the 21st century, honors the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year. AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, as well as AFI Night at the Movies, have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers. And as the largest nonprofit exhibitor in the United States, AFI offers film enthusiasts a variety of events throughout the year, including AFI Fest presented by Audi, the longest running international film festival in Los Angeles; AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs, the largest documentary festival in the US; and year-round programming at the AFI Silver Theatre in the Washington, D.C. area. AFI educates the next generation of storytellers at its world-renowned AFI Conservatory, offering a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. AFI also explores new digital technologies through special workshops. Additional information about AFI is available at AFI.com.
About AFI FEST presented by Audi: Celebrating its 24th year as a program of the American Film Institute, AFI FEST 2010 presented by Audi will take place November 4 through 11 in the heart of Hollywood. Kicking off the awards season each year, AFI FEST offers a crucial avenue of exposure to the entertainment community, while providing appreciative audiences with a festive atmosphere and the very best of world film, right in the center of the film capital of the world. The American Film Market (AFM), November 3-10, 2010, is the market partner of AFI FEST. Together, AFI FEST and AFM provide the only concurrent festival/market event in North America. AFI FEST is the only FIAPF-accredited film festival in the United States. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for the Short Films category for the annual Academy Awards®. AFI FEST 2010 presented by Audi is sponsored in part by American Airlines the official airline of AFI American Film Market (AFM) and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Additional sponsors include Baskin-Robbins, Clarisonic, Hollywood & Highland Center, Little Black Dress Wines and Stella Artois. AFI FEST is proud of its new relationship with the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre and its continued collaboration with the Skirball Cultural Center. Additional information about AFI FEST presented by Audi is available at AFI.com/AFIFEST. Connect with AFI FEST presented by Audi at facebook.com/AFIFEST, twitter.com/AFIFEST and youtube.com/AFIFEST.
About Audi: Audi of America, Inc. and its 272 U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. During 2009 Audi outsold all other luxury brands in Europe, while in the U.S. market Audi posted the largest market share gain of any luxury automotive 6 brand. Over the next few years, AUDI AG expects to spend nearly $2 billion annually on new products and technology. Visit audiusa.com or audiusanews.com for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.
About AFM: The business of independent motion picture production and distribution — a truly collaborative process — reaches its peak every year at the American Film Market. More than 7,000 industry leaders converge in Santa Monica for eight days of deal making, screenings, seminars, premieres, networking and parties. Participants come from over 70 countries and include acquisition and development executives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, festival directors, financiers, film commissioners, producers, writers, the world’s press and all those who provide services to the motion picture industry. AFM is the premier global marketplace for Hollywood’s decision makers. In just eight days, more than $800 million in deals are sealed on both completed films and those that haven’t started shooting yet making AFM the must-attend industry event. The American Film Market is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), the trade association representing the world’s producers and distributors of independent motion pictures and television programs. More information can be found at IFTA-online.org and AmericanFilmMarket.com.
Author, Educator and Celebrity Aura Imbarus Featured on The Eerie Digest Magazine For the Month of October 2010
Interview with Aura Imbarus
ED- The Eerie Digest is happy to present author Aura Imbarus to all our readers. Aura, you originally hail from Romania and moved to Los Angeles. Your book ‘Out of the Transylvania Night’ is about your epic journey from that land to ours. Tell us about your beginnings in Eastern Europe and the impact it has had on your life.
AI- I was born and raised in Transylvania, in Sibiu, a city that was named Cultural Capital of Europe in 2007, and was considered by Forbes the 8th most idyllic place to live in Europe. The architecture and the history of my homeland is more than intriguing, not necessarily due to Dracula or Vlad Dracul under his real name, but because of the Bran, Hunedoara, Peles, Rasnov, Fagaras castles and Sighisoara, Biertan, Sibiu, Brasov, medieval towns and citadels. The region of Transylvania has a rich historic heritage, from ancient fortresses and temples to medieval towns, churches and castles to renaissance and baroque palaces. Some of the castles and fortresses perished, many lie in ruins, and some have endured throughout the passing of time, witnesses of a glorious as well as turbulent history. Transylvania, which means the land beyond the forest, was first referred to in a Medieval Latin document in 1075 as ultra silvam. Surrounded by nature, legends and folktales, I grew up in a Romanian family of Greek roots, whose named was mentioned by prime ministers and famous historian in the annals of history. The Imbarus family was stripped of its properties, acres of arable land, green pastures and orchids, houses and money, their carriage transportation businesses, and order to join the Communist Party, like many other families. My Dad never yield while my uncles crossed the borders illegally, being caught and sent to Gherla, the most notorious prisons for political detainees. Our family was blacklisted for having ties with the west, Western Germany where my uncles, after a successful escape, settled down and talked against the regime on Free Europe Radio Station. Even if life during the Communist regime was harsh with rationed food, electricity and gas being monitored while the quota per family was cut down to the bare minimum, with the vision of long lines of people waiting as early as 3am to buy a litter of milk and a loaf of bread for their whole family, I was given an early education and care by my amazing grandparents and my parents. They taught me to be myself, no matter what, to believe in a brighter tomorrow and to educate myself to become “somebody.” I had their wholeheartedly support in being a rebel in the way I dressed myself, using my own creations, I dyed my hair in pink and green, and I thought and acted accordingly.
ED- Life was extremely hard there, but your dreams for a better life had a great influence on your decision to come to America. Tell us how you prepared yourself for this move, and your own future.
AI- My parents have given me the wings to fly high, and the hopes that one day my life will change. Since I was five years old, I was tutored in foreign languages, even if that was forbidden by the regime, for Romania didn’t have any ties with the western world. I was sent to ballet, volleyball, and track-and-field. I was taught how to paint and draw, and how to use my creativity in each and every small thing I did. They have given me the reason to be, to love, and to live life to the fullest. Since I was fourteen, I have been constantly telling my parents that I will end up in the country with big palm trees and never-ending blue waters and clear skies. I knew that my life will not unfold in Romania, and, one way or another, I will end up in the US. It has been my vision and my dream to live in LA. I applied for the Green Card Lottery in 1996, a targeted immigration program, and I was one of the 55,000 winners, out of a pool of 8 million applicants. My vision became reality; in 1997, on May 7, I landed in LA, the City of Angeles with two pieces of luggage and a huge American Dream ready to tackle.
ED- Tell us about your education overseas and your continuing education once you arrived here.
AI- My Romanian education was given in the most possible Spartan ways. I had fifteen subjects in high school, a tough high school entrance exam, a seven-subject test as a high school exit exam. My life depended on all of these tests in order to move on to the next level. As a student you were held back until you would pass all the tests and prove that you mastered all the grade related subjects. When I was admitted to college, it was based on a strenuous entrance exam made out of three subjects. During each winter and summer exam sessions, I would loose fifteen pounds in the all nighters, pulled one after the other. My summer reading list consisted of minimum twenty books that I would have to devour without Cliffnotes, Sparknotes, and Internet. It was brutal, but it was the best type of education I have ever encountered in my life. My BA, MA and my PhD found their equivalency in the American educational system; on top of that, I went to UCLA to receive TESOL, TEFL and CLAD credentials.
ED- You then endeavored to teach others upon graduation. Tell us about this part of your life.
AI- Teaching is the best way of learning new things or refresh your mind when is coming down to old ones. I have always loved people, and the ability to inspire others has been one of the primal focuses of my life. Teaching relies on psychology, and I had had numerous hours in this subject and in teaching methodology. The human mind is the most intricate thing that was ever created, and to be able to mold it into the final product you want to achieve is a challenging journey. I loved and love humans and their happiness is my happiness, and from there comes the desire to share by teaching and spreading knowledge, while absorbing positive energy in return. In Transylvania, I used to teach for my alma mater in Sibiu, Lucian Blaga University, while embracing journalism. Here in the US, I have been teaching for the public educational system, and I can say that it has been a remarkable journey that has given me many satisfactions.
ED- Tell us about your life style here and how it affected you and your writing.
AI- My life style was altered when I first came to the US, for I started with 400 dollars in a bank account. I worked for the hotel industry for a year, adding American experience under my belt. It was not easy to leave a house, a nice car, a great assistant professor position, a certain status that I had in Transylvania, and come here to start from square one. My rollercoaster journey has given me the facts, the tearful stories all gathered in my memoir “Out of the Transylvania Night,” which has three parts dealing with my life in Romania during the communist regime, after the fall of Ceausescu, and my life in the US, chasing the American Dream and the house with the white picket fences. Each experience was the headstone for another path, another tunnel that I really didn’t know where and how is going to end. Being away from my family has not been easy, even if our phone conversations happened daily. My emotions transpire in my rapidly-paced writing, giving away my desires, my inabilities, my internal struggles, my mistakes and regrets, my love and admiration for people I came in contact with.
ED- Your book is inspirational. Please share this, and the story in the book, with all of us.
AI- “Out of the Transylvania Night” has many layers, starting with cultural, social, mystical, and economical and, of course, last but not least, a love story. It represents the pursue of happiness and the achievement of the American Dream, the ups and downs of a fast-paced life in the city that never sleeps – Los Angeles. It deploys the coming together and the falling apart scenes of a family of immigrants who lost the vision, love, and care in the process of blending in and keeping up with the Joneses. A story of a Transylvanian Cinderella, it is also a portrayal of life’s dreams and resolutions in the New World, premonitions and déjà-vu, Transylvania’s existence and categorical life imperatives. As love furtively sneaks out when you least expect it, it also creeps in at the right time on the wings of hope. The memoir summarizes human’s desires in an ever-changing world, more demanding and strenuously competitive, where money and material possessions would, for a while, dominate my existence, only to dissipate as dreams vanish at the crack of dawn, into a more rooted and logically supported existence plagued by ethics, intelligence, charisma and sensibility. It has something for everybody and it pertains to any culture and religion, any background and financial status.
ED- Where can we find it and who is the publisher?
AI- The book’s official release date is Sept 27, but readers can already find it in Barnes and Noble and Borders stores, on line, on Amazon.com, and on my website: www.auraimbarus.com My publisher is an accomplisher writer, former university professor and administrator, Dr Bettie. B Youngs. She is the critically acclaimed author of thirty-six books translated into twenty-four languages. Dr. Youngs is a former Teacher-of-the-Year, and University Professor of Educational Administration and Management, Graduate Division. Though Bettie’s earlier work focused on education and developmental issues for youth, family and educators, in recent years she is best known for her series of poignantly written short-story books that clearly and warmly elucidate the human spirit, captivating the American psyche and winning her wide-range appeal with audiences young and old alike. Bettie is the recipient of numerous publishing awards, including having an Imprint bearing her name. She is Founder and CEO of Bettie Youngs Books Publishing Co. www.BettieYoungsBooks.com
and Founder and co-publisher of Teen Town Press, an imprint for teens.
ED- Please reveal some of the accolades that have been bestowed on this work by some of the most renowned critics in America.
AI – The main endorser of my book is Nadia Comaneci, the Olympic gold medalist who said that, “Aura’s courage shows the degree to which we are all willing to live lives centered on freedom, hope, and an authentic sense of self. Truly a love story!”
What People Are Saying about This Book . . .
Unforgettable! This book gives the pioneer spirit courage and the brave heart bravado.
—Adrian Maher, filmmaker, Discovery Channel
If you grew up hearing names like Tito, Mao, and Ceausescu but really didn’t understand their significance, read this book!
—Mark Skidmore, Paramount Pictures
A remarkable account erasing a past, but not an identity. Thought-provoking, inspirational—and comforting.
—Todd Greenfield, 20th Century Fox Studios
This book is sure to find its place in memorial literature of the world.
—Beatrice Ungar, editor-in-chief, Hermannstädter Zeitung
Out of the Transylvania Night is a compelling and spelling-binding story of a fiercely independent young woman growing up at the height of worldwide Communist power and then the rapid fall of the Iron Curtain. We must never forget what her story ultimately teaches . . .
—Sharrie Williams, author, The Maybelline Story—and the Spirited Family Dynasty behind It
Under Communism, Aura’s family lost its fortune but kept their jewels. Under capitalism, she made a fortune and lost the jewels. And then lost the fortune as well. Such is the paradox found within the pages of this amazing and unforgettable story.
—Lindy Hudis, producer, Impact Motion Pictures
We all have much to learn about freedom; certainly anyone born without it will search until they find it. This is an incredible story about pain, strength, courage, defiance, and healing.
—David Haspel, producer
Out of the Transylvania Night presents an emotional journey through both free and closed societies, revealing how freedom is also found in the self and not only the destination.
—Ilie T. Ardelean, founding chairman and president, Romanian-American Professional Network (RAPN)
Out of the Transylvania Night is an exciting and truly memorable search for personal freedom.
—Alexander R. Marmureanu, MD, president and CEO, California Heart and Lung Surgery Center, UCLA Medical Center
To remember is a tedious, hurtful process, especially if you lived what us Romanians did. Many of us prefer to forget and to erase, once for all, those humiliating memories. But, can you really annul your childhood? Aura’s capacity to remember and to dream makes this a book for all who, at one point or another, need to restart or reboot their lives—and in her case, to find a new country to call “home.”
—Daniela Crasnaru, famous Romanian poet
There are many beautiful places in the world, and I’m sure this book will put Romania on your list of “must see” countries. Aura’s story is an eye-opener about the beauty and richness of the culture and people of Romania, and I applaud her for sharing these experiences with us.
—Mike Costache, president, Miss Universe Romania Organization
Out of the Transylvania Night reveals, beyond all doubt, the power and range of an individual’s voice to be heard above the noise of dissent and the struggle to reign over oppression.
—Prof. Rajen Vurdien, PhD, Saddleback College, and former diplomat, United Nations Development Program language coordinator in China
Out of the Transylvania Night is a testament to the majesty of the human spirit to see how far we will go to triumph over oppression and adversity. We are better for the journey through this book.
AI- Yes, the book had been presented to the entertainment industry, and the negotiations are in full speed; we hope to reach a deal by the end of this year.
ED- You also have another book out for younger people. Please tell us about it.
AI- My second book, “101 Great Ways to Make the World a Totally Awesome Place – By Teens For Teens.” Today’s teens have a lot to say about how our world can be a safer, kinder, better place to be. In this book, I compiled as a high school educator extraordinaire, stories about the most stringent issue teens from around the country deal with; they share their vision for creating a better world and ideas on how we can go about it.
ED- Aura, your book is certainly inspirational and many people today should find it in their interest to read it. We wish you much luck and hope the best for you in the future. I thank you for sharing your time with us and hope that we can hear from you again in the near future.
Source and story printed with permission of Diversity News Publisher Affiliate: The Eerie Digest Magazine at http://www.eeriedigest.com/wordpress/2010/10/interview-with-aura-imbarus/
Editor’s Note: Congratulations to Aura Imbarus and yes we agree with many of her fans the her book soon will become a motion picture movie. Congratulations!