NIGHTCRAWLER
Rating: About Ratings
Opens: 10/31/2014
Running Time: 117
Rated: R
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton and Riz Ahmed.
Crew: Director: Dan Gilroy. Producers: Jake Gyllenhaal, Garrick Dion, Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Juliana Guedes, David Lancaster, Michael Litvik and Stephanie Wilcox. Executive Producers: Betsy Danbury and Gary Michael Walters. Screenwriter: Dan Gilroy. Cinematographer: Robert Elswit.
REVIEW: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Following last year’s thrilling psychological drama, “Prisoners,” Jake Gyllenhaal delivers another powerful, dark and twisted performance in his latest movie, “Nightcrawler.”

Gyllenhaal plays a straight up sociopath named Louis Bloom who realizes that stealing expensive bikes at Venice Beach and scrap metal from construction sites doesn’t pay. At least not enough to live the lifestyle he wants.

Desperate to make money, he is inspired to try his hand as a nightcrawler after talking with a TV station videographer (Bill Paxton, “Edge of Tomorrow”). He schools him on how the business works and the TV news philosophy that “if it bleeds it leads.” The more gruesome the footage, the better chance Louis has of selling his video.

Louis’ new career exposes him to the dark, seedy side of Los Angeles. He sees that he can make a nice chunk of change doing it too. Using what little money he has, Lou buys a decent camera, a police scanner which allows him to hear and jump at emergency calls and he hires a homeless guy (Riz Ahmed, TV’s “Criminal Justice”), who is thrilled he’s getting $30 a night.

Louis’ footage of horrible traffic accidents, carjackings and the like are too good for ratings hungry news directors like Nina Romina (Rene Russo, “Thor: The Dark World”) to resist. Nina, doesn’t just report the news, but would create it if she could.
Her prejudicial commentaries about “urban crime creeping into the suburbs” just fan the flames of fear among her viewers and keeps them tuning in to her every night.

Gyllenhaal realizes the power he wields and uses it to his advantage. Every time Nina thinks about lowballing him for his work, he simply tells her other stations are clamoring for his footage and he winds up getting paid. There's no shame in Louis’ game. If he isn’t able to get a good shot of a deceased body in the street, he’ll move it so he can.

Louis narcissism and manipulative journalism style almost catches up with him when he videotapes a burglary in a ritzy suburban home and his grisly footage puts him front and center during the police investigation. But this guy is so slick and calculating that the cops can’t nail him on anything.

Nightcrawler,” from screenwriter/director Dan Gilroy (“Reel Steel” and “The Bourne Legacy”) is a gritty and thought-provoking movie that takes aim at today’s 24/7 news cycle and its impact on our society.

While it’s a bit over the top at times, it’s not all that far off perhaps of where TV journalism is headed.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:40 p.m. on radio station KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM.

Here Is The Trailer for "NIGHTCRAWLER."
 

Rated: R
Opens: 10/31/2014
Birdman

Rated: R
Opens: 10/31/2014
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Rated: PG-13
Opens: 10/24/2014
Ouija

Rated: R
Opens: 10/24/2014
John Wick

Rated: PG-13
Opens: 10/17/2014
St. Vincent

Rated: R
Opens: 10/17/2014
Fury


OLD SCHOOL VIDEO PICK OF THE MONTH

Brian's Song Title: Brian's Song
Year Released: 1971
Running Time: 90
Production Company: Sony (Screen Gems)
Director: Buzz Kulik
Director of Photography: Joseph F. Biroc
Screenwriter: William Blinn
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: Now with summer behind us, the arrival of fall means weekends attending and watching plenty of football games. Whether they’re college, pro or high school, I’m all over them. I’m looking forward to attending a few games at the San Francisco 49ers new Levi’s Stadium.

On the college front, my husband Rickey is a former UC Davis player/alum and...
NEW ON DVD

Begin Again <b>(Oct. 28)</b> Title: Begin Again (Oct. 28)
Year Released: 2014
Running Time: 104
Production Company: The Weinstein Company
Director: John Carney
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

“BEGIN AGAIN”

There are some films that usually give me pause as to whether or not they should make my “Top 20 Best Of The Year” list.“Begin Again” isn’t one of those movies.

The minute the final credits rolled after seeing “Begin Again” I knew I had witnessed something special.

Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo give outstanding performances along with Catherine Keener, Mos Def, Hailee Steinfeld and Adam “The Voice” Levine.

The music is phenomenal and the dialogue is refreshingly realistic. Everything about “Begin Again” connects so perfectly. Director John Carney, who helmed the 2006 lyrical movie “Once”—which I also liked a lot—hits all the right notes again.

Knightley plays a singer-songwriter named Greta who has moved from England to New York with her boyfriend Dave (Levine). He’s closer to musical stardom than she is since one of his songs has become a hit on a movie soundtrack. And while that’s kind of an issue in their relationship, it’s not what causes them to break up initially.
Dave gets a bit caught up in his success and cheats on Greta and she’s understandably devastated by it.

Consequently, Greta moves out and winds up staying with her friend Steve (a terrific James Corden, “One Chance”) who is also a struggling musician and plays various clubs around New York.

When Steve invites Greta to one of his shows and asks her to come on stage she is extremely reluctant. She gives in and starts singing and playing her guitar. The song doesn’t connect right away with everyone in the audience, but it sure catches the ears of a guy named Dan (Ruffalo).

On the surface Dan looks like a real loser. His journalist wife (Keener) divorced him. As much as he tries, he still isn’t a good father and role model for his rebellious, teen daughter Violet (Steinfeld). He’s really a washed up, alcoholic record producer who was recently fired by his music partner Saul (a sensational Mos Def).

Back in the day, Saul and Dan ruled the music business. The record label they founded was incredibly successful. They made the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine because they found talent and molded them and produced hit after hit.
Times have changed. Now Dan is stuck in a rut and can’t seem to find his groove and anyone worthy of producing.

And although he’s been in the nightclub belting back a few, he still realizes a great voice when he hears it. As he listens to Greta’s raw vocals he envisions the song’s complete orchestration with several musical instruments playing alongside her adding to the depth of it. This is one of the film’s most brilliant and touching scenes. There are others too including when the pair are strolling around Manhattan and bopping to the beats of each other’s iPods.

When Greta and Dan meet after the show, Greta isn’t convinced that this guy can produce much of anything. But she gives him a shot and before long they are inspiring each other.

Sounds pretty predictable right? It's not. And this is what sets “Begin Again” apart from the rom-com pack. It’s funny, touching and inspiring.
(Highly Recommended).

Wish I Was Here <b>(Oct. 28)</b> Title: Wish I Was Here (Oct. 28)
Year Released: 2014
Running Time: 106
Production Company: Focus Features
Director: Zach Braff
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

“WISH I WAS HERE”

In “Wish I Was Here,” Zach Braff plays a 35-year old father, husband and struggling actor named Aidan who is pretty miserable with his life.

The Hollywood acting gig, just isn’t working. He hasn’t landed a substantial paying job in some time. Even his wife Sarah’s (Kate Hudson, “Good People”) data processing job isn’t enough to make ends meet.

To make matters worse, their tween daughter Grace (Joey King, TV’s “Fargo”) and their young son Tucker (Pierce Gagnon, TV’s “Extant”) are about to get kicked out of the expensive, private school that Aidan’s dad Gabe (Mandy Patinkin, TV’s “Homeland”) has been paying for, but can no longer afford. Gabe has to use the kid’s tuition money for his cancer treatments.

Braff, who also directed “Wish I was Here,” has layered the film with plenty of dramatic turns. The biggest of course is whether Aidan should give up his acting dream and totally focus on salvaging his marriage and family life.

Other scenarios work a little too hard to win our sympathies, but they eventually do thanks largely to the film’s cast who give earnest performances.
(Recommended).

The Purge: Anarchy <b> (Oct. 21)</b> Title: The Purge: Anarchy (Oct. 21)
Year Released: 2014
Running Time: 103
Production Company: Universal
Director: Jason DeMonaco
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

“THE PURGE: ANARCHY"

Director James DeMonaco has followed up and even improved on his 2013 sleeper hit movie “The Purge” with the futuristic thriller, “The Purge: Anarchy.

Set in 2023, it builds upon the original movie’s fascinating, yet preposterous premise of our country having an annual, 12 hour government sanctioned night where all crime, including murder, theft and rape is completely legal. The police and hospitals are closed during The Purge and not available to help anyone.

The only rules that people must abide by during The Purge is to not harm government officials who are ranked “10 or higher” and weapons above “Class 4” are prohibited.

Aside from that everything else goes. The longstanding belief is that this thrill kill night is cathartic for people, controls the population, notably among the poor and homeless.

So if someone has wronged you, or you simply hate them, well, you can set them on fire, slash their throat or beat them to death and then walk away from it all without any repercussions whatsoever.

Imagine that.

“The Purge: Anarchy” differs from the original in that the killing and other mass destruction isn’t relegated to just one suburban home. Instead, everyone in Los Angeles is fair game be they rich or poor, black or white.

Of course being rich still has its many benefits. The wealthy can buy the finest protection, but even so their safety is always at stake. And there’s an interesting twist this time involving the rich. They view the Purge like a sporting event and even hold bidding parties so some can hunt down those less fortunate while they watch the killings in amazement.

Everyone has their reasons for taking part in the Purge or staying safe and avoiding it at all costs. Carmelo, (a terrific Michael K. Williams, “12 Years a Slave”) is a black revolutionary who is completely against The Purge and views it as a racist means for rich whites to control the minority population. Carmelo’s right hand man is “The Stranger” (Edwin Hodge) who set everything off in the original movie.

Leo Barnes/Sergeant (Frank Grillo,) has a special set of skills and also some reasons for his revenge that involve his young son and a drunk driver. We know he means business as soon as shows up in a tricked out Dodge Charger.

Eva (Carmen Ejogo, “Sparkle “and the upcoming, “Selma”) is a waitress with a spunky teen daughter named Cali (Zoe Soul, “Prisoners”) who is trying to get home to care for her sickly father (John Beasley, TV’s “The Soul Man”). He hates The Purge and even has a plan to literally cash in on it for the sake of his family.

Liz (Kiele Sanchez, TV’s “Kingdom”) and Shane (Zach Gilford, “Devil’s Due”) are close to having a “conscious uncoupling” for a variety of reasons. They foolishly get caught up while running errands the day of The Purge and are stalked by some menacing, machete wielding kids.

Naturally they manage to cross paths with Leo (Grillo) as they attempt to find shelter and get through the night. But not everything goes according to plan. They soon discover the real reason why a group of armed men burst into Eva and Cali’s home and what’s at the heart of this whole purge thing.

“The Purge: Anarchy” is deliriously entertaining.
(Recommended).

Earth To Echo <b>(Oct. 21)</b> Title: Earth To Echo (Oct. 21)
Year Released: 2014
Running Time: 91
Production Company: Relativity Media
Director: Dave Green
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

"EARTH TO ECHO"

Despite similarities to “E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial,” “The Goonies,” and “Stand By Me,” the sci-fi movie “Earth to Echo” is a hokey, but enjoyable tween, sci-fi drama.
It actually grows on you as it goes along.

Directed by Dave Green and written by Henry Gayden and Andrew Panay, "Earth To Echo" finds its own charm and voice thanks to the film’s young stars, Teo Halm, Brian "Astro" Bradley and Reese Hartwig.

They play three very close knit friends who try and come to terms with having to move away from each other because their suburban neighborhood is set to be demolished to make room for a new freeway.

Tuck (Brian "Astro" Bradley) is the most outgoing of the bunch. He’s a novice filmmaker and is eager to record his buddies, Alex (Halm), and Munch’s (Hartwig) last days together.

When the kids ask the construction workers why everyone has to move from the area so suddenly, they aren’t given straight answers.

But then their cell phones start going haywire and a weird looking map appears on their screen. Even the nerdy Munch can’t figure out what it is. And when the engineers start showing up at their doors asking if they’ve had any problems with their phones, it sets the stage for a creepy and exciting alien invasion story.

The kid’s inquisitiveness about the map, leads them on an adventure that takes them to a remote desert area.

It’s here that they find a metal canister that emits a powerful beam makes bizarre noises. When they open it they find a creature that looks like a cross between an owl and a kitten. When they discover it’s been injured and won’t harm them, they decide to name him “Echo” and agree to help him get to his spaceship and back home.

Does that sound familiar?

The rest of “Echo” centers around the boys and a female friend and classmate named Emma (Ella Wahlestedt, TV's "Army Wives") who wants in on the fun.

Now they all have to stay steps ahead of the authorities including a scientist named Dr. Lawrence Madsen (Jason Gray-Stanford, TV’s “Justified”) who has his own reasons for wanting Echo to stay on Earth.
(Recommended).
  MOVIE TRIVIA
 
THE THEME FOR THE MOVIE "BRIAN'S SONG" "THE HANDS OF TIME" WAS ORIGINALLY COMPOSED BY WHICH ONE OF THE FOLLOWING MUSICIANS?
HENRY MANCINI
MICHEL LEGRAND
JOHNNY MATHIS
FLOYD CRAMER
 
  "REEL" MOVIE NEWS
ALLEN MALDONADO By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

LOS ANGELES, CALIF-- For Allen Maldonado landing a small role in Denzel Washington’s new movie, “The Equalizer” is a BIG deal.

The 31-year-old actor from Rialto, California says he believes in the old saying that there are no small parts, just small actors.

And although Maldonado has become a familiar face on TV currently starring in Adult Swim’s newest live-action series, “Black Jesus,” FX’s relationship comedy, “You’re The Worst, as well as BET’s “The Start Up,” he hopes to find success on the silver screen as well.

N2Entertainment.net caught up with Maldonado from his home in Los Angeles. He talked about working with Denzel Washington in “The Equalizer” and how much he learned from the Oscar winning actor.

Maldonado also discussed how surviving a near death experience turned his life around and why he enjoys giving back to his community.

Read on to find out what else this multi-talented and personable young man had to say.

Q. So how did you land this role opposite the great Denzel Washington and is “The Equalizer” your first major movie?

A. I’ve been in the business for a while and done a lot of auditions for movies and TV. And Antoine Fuqua who directed “The Equalizer” knew about me and called me in for an audition. And two days later, I’m on a plane ready to film. It happened just that fast and just like that.

Q. Were you surprised?

A. Yeah. I was in a daze. Actually I’m still in a daze. (He laughs).

Q. Was it a bit intimidating to work with Denzel?

A. You know honestly, yes it was. What was funny was when we were about to do a scene and Denzel (Washington) was coming around the corner I heard his voice and I just froze up. I freeze up. Then I had to say to myself ‘OK you’ve been here before. Take a deep breath and focus.’ And I did and was able to finally say my lines.

Q. Did Denzel give you any advice or did you learn anything from him while shooting the movie?

A. He really is such a cool guy. I know everyone says that, but it’s true. There’s no arrogance about Denzel Washington. He brings out the best in everyone around him. Just being around him and seeing how he prepares on set was educational for me. He showed me why he’s such a consummate professional and a genuine superstar. More importantly, I’m going to take a page from his playbook and keep it with me.

Q. Can you tell me about the character you play in the movie?

A. I play a guy named Marcus, one of Denzel’s wise-cracking co-workers. I pick on Denzel about being the old guy at work. I’m the slacker and I try to show him up since I’m the younger guy.

Q. “The Equalizer” is based on the 1985-1989 television show that starred Edward Woodward in the lead role. This movie has a different style, but did you watch the old series to check it out?

A. I was familiar with “The Equalizer” TV show, but I didn’t watch any of the old shows.

Q. How did you get started in acting and what was your first real gig?

A. I started taking acting classes during my senior year in high school. I didn’t think I would stick with it or like it, but I fell in love with it. Then I started auditioning for everything around town. I was 21 when I landed my first major role which was on the soap opera, “The Young and the Restless” (2004). I just knew this was going to really be the turning point for me but it wasn’t.

Q. Why wasn’t it? What happened?

A. While I was walking to the store, a drunk driver was speeding and hit me and I flew in the air, broke my right leg, had major curvature of my spine and some serious facial damage. I almost had to have my bottom lip removed. The doctors initially said that I might not walk again and would need tons of plastic surgery. But as God and luck would have it, I didn’t need plastic surgery and I came through everything and was able to walk within six months. I still have scars on my face and chin. It surprised everybody including me. That was confirmation that someone was looking out for me and it emboldened me to do something positive with my life.

Q. Is that what prompted you to start some of your community organizations and foundations?

A. It definitely was. I really believe in reaching back and helping those less fortunate particularly in my community. And since I fell in love with the arts through school, I want to encourage as many young kids as I can to consider the arts as well and that’s why I started Demo Nerds. It’s a foundation that provides free acting classes and services for foster children and at risk youth throughout Los Angeles. And part of the proceeds from my T-shirt line Vineyards Phinest also goes towards providing free classes for inner city kids.

Q. And is music another one of your passion projects?

A.Definitely. I have my own record company called Get It Done Records and production company, Only Son Productions. I’ve had pretty good success on the music front since some of my music has been featured on TV shows such as “House of Lies,” “The Mentalist,” “Parenthood,” HBO's Chris Rock Special: Kill The Messenger” and movies like “Hurricane Season” with Forrest Whitaker, “Don Jon” and Russell Crowe’s, “The Next Three Days.”

Q. What will we see you in next?

A. I have a new movie coming out called “Cake” with Jennifer Aniston, William H. Macy and Anna Kendrick. And I’m starring in Ice Cube’s “Straight Outta Compton” and the drama “Dope” from director Rick Famuyiwa. It stars Kimberly Elise, Zoe Kravitz and Rick Fox. It’s crazy busy, but I am having so much fun.

Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out Allen Maldonado in Denzel Washington’s new movie, “The Equalizer" which opens nationwide Sept. 26.


HARRY BELAFONTE OSCAR HUMANITARIAN AWARD By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

HARRY BELAFONTE TO RECEIVE THE JEAN HERSHOLT HUMANITARIAN AWARD

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted Aug. 26 to present Harry Belafonte with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and Honorary Awards to Jean-Claude Carrière, Hayao Miyazaki and Maureen O’Hara.

All four awards will be presented at the Academy’s 6th Annual Governors Awards on Nov. 8, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.

“The Governors Awards allow us to reflect upon not the year in film, but the achievements of a lifetime,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “We’re absolutely thrilled to honor these outstanding members of our global filmmaking community and look forward to celebrating with them in November.”

An actor, producer, singer and lifelong activist, Belafonte began performing in theaters and nightclubs in and around Harlem, where he was born. From the beginning of his film career, he chose projects that shed needed light on racism and inequality, including “Carmen Jones,” “Odds against Tomorrow” and “The World, the Flesh and the Devil.”

He was an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, marching and organizing alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. and often funding initiatives with his entertainment income.

Belafonte was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1987 and currently serves on the boards of the Advancement Project and the Institute for Policy Studies. His work on behalf of children, education, famine relief, AIDS awareness and civil rights has taken him all over the world.

The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.”

The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, also an Oscar statuette, is given “to an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”

CARRIERE-- Began his career as a novelist, was introduced to screenwriting by French comedian and filmmaker Pierre Étaix, with whom he shared an Oscar for the live action short subject “Heureux Anniversaire (Happy Anniversary)” in 1962. He received two more nominations during his nearly two-decade collaboration with director Luis Buñuel, for the screenplays for “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” and “That Obscure Object of Desire.” Carrière also has collaborated notably with such directors as Volker Schlöndorff (“The Tin Drum”), Jean-Luc Godard (“Every Man for Himself”) and Andrzej Wajda (“Danton”). He earned a fourth Oscar nomination for “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” with director Philip Kaufman.

MIYAZAKI-- Is an artist, writer, director, producer and three-time Oscar nominee in the Animated Feature Film category, winning in 2002 for “Spirited Away.” His other nominations were for “Howl’s Moving Castle” in 2005 and “The Wind Rises” last year. Miyazaki gained an enormous following in his native Japan for such features as “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,” “Laputa: Castle in the Sky,” “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service” before breaking out internationally in the late 1990s with “Princess Mononoke.” He is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, a renowned animation studio based in Tokyo.

O'HARA-- A native of Dublin, Ireland, came to Hollywood in 1939 to star opposite Charles Laughton in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” She went on to appear in a wide range of feature films, including the swashbucklers “The Black Swan” and “Sinbad the Sailor,” the dramas “This Land Is Mine” and “A Woman’s Secret,” the family classics “Miracle on 34th Street” and “The Parent Trap,” the spy comedy “Our Man in Havana” and numerous Westerns. She was a favorite of director John Ford, who cast her in five of his films, including “How Green Was My Valley,” “Rio Grande” and “The Quiet Man.”

ABOUT THE ACADEMY: 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; 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.

Editor’s Note: Some information used in this report obtained from publicity department press releases.


SAG NAMES SYD By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

SAG FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES CYD WILSON AS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Screen Actors Guild Foundation has appointed media marketing expert Cyd Wilson (pictured) as its new executive director.

Wilson, founder and president of Cyd Wilson Entertainment Marketing and long-time creative director of Time Inc’s. Style and Entertainment group of magazines, has forged philanthropic partnerships between the entertainment industry and leading corporations for more than 25 years, producing invaluable awareness and revenue for her clients and several Hollywood supported charities.

SAG Foundation President JoBeth Williams spoke for the Foundation’s Board stating, “Cyd is one of the powerhouses in the industry. She has vision, passion and a drive to create a successful merging of corporate goals with humanitarian needs. We look forward to working together to further the goals of the SAG Foundation.”

During her 20 year tenure at Time Inc., Wilson created and managed such high profile and press worthy annual events as the PEOPLE – Entertainment Industry Foundation SAG Awards Gala as well as InStyle’s Golden Globes, Grammy Fashion and L.A. Film Fest parties to name a few.

A former hospital administrator, Wilson began her career in philanthropy in 1989, spending five years helping to establish the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation where she created the “A Time for Heroes” fundraiser, helping to put that organization on the map.

Of her new role, Wilson says, “My career in nonprofits began in Hollywood and coming to the SAG Foundation gives me an opportunity to return full circle and focus solely on the act of giving back to performing artists. It is at once a challenge and a privilege to take the helm of an expanding philanthropic organization that is committed to providing an unrivaled level of career-enhancing programming and emergency assistance for working performers as well as advancing the cause of children’s literacy.

Wilson succeeds nonprofit veteran Jill Seltzer who served as Executive Director since 2011 and leaves the Foundation ready for its next chapter.

“I've very much enjoyed [my time at the SAG Foundation] and taken great pride in opening a new office and building the Actors Center in New York, taking the Performers Programs on the road to actors throughout the country, increasing the amount of online programming, stewarding the first-ever million dollar grant and putting an organizational structure in place. All of these accomplishments are the basis for the SAG Foundation to flourish as the national organization that it now is,” says Seltzer. “Having achieved these goals, the timing seems right to return to the broader philanthropic agenda that has been the focus of my work in the past.”

Williams commended Seltzer’s contribution stating, “Jill has worked hard over these last three years to bring the SAG Foundation to a news level on many fronts. We are so grateful for what she has done for us, and wish her well in her future endeavors.”

ADDITIONAL SAG NEWS:

SAG-AFTRA Statement on AB 1839

On behalf of California’s 80,000 SAG-AFTRA members, we applaud Gov. Jerry Brown, Assemblymembers Mike Gatto and Raul Bocanegra, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Senate President pro Tem-elect Kevin de León, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway and Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff for recognizing the impact film and television production has on the state of California, and the importance of AB1839.

We also thank our dedicated members who have worked tirelessly in support of this legislation and spoke out at events. This bill will enhance and expand California’s film and television tax incentive program and we look forward to AB1839 passing the state legislature and being signed by the Governor in the days ahead.

ABOUT SAG-AFTRA-- SAG-AFTRA represents more than 165,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world.

With national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide, SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond. Visit SAG-AFTRA online at SAGAFTRA.org.

SAG-AFTRA MEMBERS VOTE TO APPROVE 2014 TV/THEATRICAL CONTRACTS

In recent national voting, members of SAG-AFTRA voted overwhelmingly to approve the 2014 TV/Theatrical Contracts.

Members approved new, three-year contracts covering theatrical, primetime, and basic cable television production under the 2014 SAG-AFTRA Codified Basic Agreement and the 2014 SAG-AFTRA Television Agreement by a vote of 92.12 percent to 7.88 percent.

The new television contract establishes the first industrywide agreement covering performers in both primetime television and basic cable productions.

SAG-AFTRA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached a tentative agreement in July on the deal that provides:

Gains of $200 million in wages; An 8.5-percent wage increase compounding to 8.7 percent; 2.5 percent in the first year, 3 percent in the second year and 3 percent in the third year.

Advances in Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) coverage, including a brand-new residual for on-demand viewing.

Reduction of unpaid online streaming windows for most shows; and

An increased contribution rate percentage to our benefits plans and a mechanism to facilitate the merger of the health plans.

The agreement covers film and digital television programs, motion pictures and new media productions.

SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard (TV’s “The White Shadow”) said, “Once again, we have made history. With the approval of the first-ever SAG-AFTRA Television Agreement, we have reached yet another of the goals we set when we merged. I am thankful to all members who participated throughout this process and the dedicated staff of SAG-AFTRA who worked to insure our new contract would usher us into the next generation of entertainment and new media production.”

The agreement becomes effective retroactive to July 1, 2014 and will remain in force through June 30, 2017.

For more information on the new contract, including a summary of the agreement, go to SAGAFTRA.org.

Editor’s Note: Some information used in this report obtained from publicity department press releases.