Heaven Is For Real  
  HEAVEN IS FOR REAL
Rating: About Ratings
Opens: 04/16/2014
Running Time: 100
Rated: PG
Cast: Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly, Connor Corum Jacob Vargas, Thomas Haden Church and Nancy Sorel.
Crew: Director: Randall Wallace. Producers: T.D. Jakes, Joe Roth, Andrew Wallace, and Kim H. Winther. Executive Producers: Derek Williams and Sue Baden-Powell. Screenwriters: Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent--Authors of "Heaven Is For Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story Of His Trip To Heaven And Back") and Chris Parker. Cinematographer: Dean Semler.
REVIEW: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Hollywood is finally tapping into religious themed movies and discovering there's definitely an audience for them. "Noah," "Son of God" and "God's Not Dead" have all been box office hits. The latest movie to arrive in theatres is "Heaven Is For Real" which is based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book of the same name from authors Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent.

While "Heaven Is For Real" already has a built in Christian audience, the movie's all-star cast may even help to broaden its appeal.

Todd Burpo (Greg Kinnear, "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" and TV's "Rake") lives in a close knit, Nebraska farming town.

He wears many hats. During the week he does odd jobs for businesses and neighbors like repairing garage doors, coaching the high school wrestling team and even volunteers as a fireman.

However on Sundays, Todd preaches to a receptive congregation at the Wesleyan Church. They all love his folksy, style sermons. He's a pastor like Joel Osteen only without the fancy suits and perfectly styled hair.

His wife Sonja (Kelly Reilly, "Flight"), their daughter Cassie (Lane Styles, "Reasonable Doubt") and their four-year-old son Colton, (newcomer Conner Corum) look on adoringly at him from the front pew.

The family isn't rich. They struggle and have their ups and downs like most others in town. Their faith in God sustains them. But their faith is also tested when Todd breaks his leg playing baseball, suffers from kidney stones and the hospital bills start rolling in.

His best friend and the town banker, Jay Wilkins (Thomas Haden Church, "We Bought a Zoo") and church member Nancy Rawling (Margo Martindale, TV's "The Millers") offer financial assistance, but Todd refuses.

Their bad fortune gets worse when little Colton's appendix ruptures and he is rushed to the hospital for surgery. Colton barely survives the ordeal, but when he awakens he tells his father about his out of body experience.

Colton says he saw the doctors operating on him and that he was transported to a beautiful place where angels sang to him, he met members of his deceased family and even sat on Jesus' lap. He's convinced he was in Heaven.

Todd is shocked by what Colton tells him. As he presses him for more information, he realizes Colton wouldn't know some of the family information because he's never told him those things.

How could this be?

This leads Todd to seek psychological help for Colton and he soon starts questioning his own faith. When the media gets wind of the story and wants to interview Colton, it turns the town upside down and angers some of the church members who don't appreciate the circus like atmosphere.

Yet Colton continues to elaborate on his story to anyone who will listen. He senses that his family doesn't quite believe him. However, a stunning revelation by Todd which Colton confirms changes everything.

Greg Kinnear's charm and guy next door appeal makes him the perfect choice for this role. But the real scene stealer in "Heaven Is For Real" is six-year-old Connor Corum. He is one of the most adorable child actors you will see on screen this year. Conner apparently beat out a group of other young hopefuls during an open audition in Ohio where he lives.

Produced by Joe Roth and minister T.D. Jakes, ("Woman Thou Art Loosed"), "Heaven is For Real" is a refreshing and inspiring family drama. It doesn't cram its religious message down your throat, but it will definitely touch your heart.


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. Or you can log on to www.kfbk.com.

Take A Peek At This Trailer For "HEAVEN IS...
 

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Opens: 04/18/2014
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Dom Hemingway


OLD SCHOOL VIDEO PICK OF THE MONTH

<b>THE PREACHER'S WIFE</b> Title: THE PREACHER'S WIFE
Year Released: 1996
Running Time: 124
Production Company: Touchstone Pictures
Director: Penny Marshall
Director of Photography: Miroslav Ondricek
Screenwriter: Robert Nathan
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: "The Preacher's Wife" is one of my favorite Christmas movies. It's a remake of the 1947, classic film, "The Bishop's Wife" which stars Carey Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven.



Directed by Penny Marshall, "The Preacher's Wife" is a good, old fashioned dramady filled with rousing gospel music from the late, Whitney Houston....
NEW ON DVD

Ride Along <b>(April 15)</b> Title: Ride Along (April 15)
Year Released: 2014
Running Time: 105
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Director: Tim Story
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

"RIDE ALONG"

After seeing the hilarious Kevin Hart and Ice Cube going toe to toe in the hit movie "Ride Along," I'm ready for an even funnier sequel.

Hopefully the film's director Tim Story already has one in the hopper.
In the meantime, if you haven't seen "Ride Along" you can check it out and find out why Kevin Hart is one of the hottest comics on the scene today.

In the action-comedy, Hart plays a motor-mouthed security guard named Ben who lives with his girlfriend, Angela Payton (Tika Sumpter, "Sparkle"). Ben wants to be a real, Atlanta cop like Angela's brother, James (a menacing and funny Ice Cube). He's even applied to the police department. He believes that becoming a cop will make James like him more and that he'll give him his blessing to marry Angela.

It's truly wishful thinking. James believes Angela deserves more than the video game playing Ben. He sees his sister dating an Atlanta Hawks, Falcons or Braves baller. Still, James decides to have some fun and take Ben on an all-day "Ride Along" hoping it will convince him, he's not cut out to be a cop. Ben has no clue that James has rigged his big day with all sorts of pre-arranged trainee mishaps.

They're all quite funny too including one with comedian Gary Owen ("Think like a Man") as a crazed man at a Farmer's Market and Ben trying to cite a motorcycle gang for loitering.

Things get really crazy when Ben discovers James has played him and they actually get involved in a real crime caper involving a drug dealer (Laurence Fishburne) and James' partners, Santiago (Leguizamo) and Miggs (Bryan Callen "The Hangover Part II").

Hart and Ice Cube are a winning combination. "Ride Along is laugh out loud funny from start to finish.
(Recommended).

The Nut Job <b>(April 15)</b> Title: The Nut Job (April 15)
Year Released: 2013
Running Time: 85
Production Company: Open Road Films
Director: Peter Lepeniotis
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

"THE NUT JOB"

"The Nut Job" is the perfect kid's movie. The jokes and running gags are very age appropriate and hit more than they miss. Plus it has a bunch of cute and furry animals doing all sorts of crazy things.

Set in the fictional Oakton City, circa 1959, this animated 3D adventure tells the story of a selfish squirrel named Surly (Will Arnett, "Arrested Development") and his partner in crime, Buddy the rat (Rob Tinkler, TV's "Cyberchase").

They live in the spacious and beautiful Liberty Park along with their critter colleagues of mice, moles, chipmunks and groundhogs. With the direction of Raccoon (Liam Neeson), every fall the animals work together to find food to store away for the winter. Except Surly and Buddy keep what they find for themselves. Sharing is not part of their world.

If only they could be more civilized and well behaved like Grayson the squirrel (Brendan Fraser) and Andie (Katherine Heigl) are, everyone would like them.

When Surly gets caught stealing a street vendor's nut cart, the rest of the park animals decide they've had enough of his shenanigans and kick him out of the park for good.

Surly and Buddy find more mischief when they decide to break into a nut shop. Their caper goes bad fast when they discover the owners of the warehouse are mobsters. The gangsters are using the place as a cover so they can dig their way into the bank vault that's right across the street.

News spreads that Surly may have found a place with food and the animals soon become part of this crazy heist. It's not going to be easy since they have to get past the lead mobster's (Stephen Lang's, "Avatar 2") mean looking pug dog (voiced by Maya Rudolph).

And any movie with a beautiful woman named Lana in it gets a couple of extra points from me. But the film's brisk 85 minutes run time will also keep parents and kids from getting too squirrely.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The 2D and 3D Blu-ray/DVD/Ultra Violet combo pack releases of "The Nut Job" offers some pretty funny features too. They include:
"The Great Nut Heist-- Will Arnett discusses the great caper story at the heart of the film.

Deleted Scenes-- Check out Surly, Grayson and the gang in scenes removed from the final version of the movie.

Storyboards-- Watch key scenes from the film brought to life from the original sketches.

Dance-Off End Credits--Surly joins his furry friends and a very special guest for this show-stopping number.

Animated Shorts--"Surely Squirrel-- Meet Surly for the very first time in the award-winning animated short that started it all. Nuts & Robbers - Surly and Grayson stumble upon a bank heist gone wrong.
(Recommended).

Grudge Match<b> (April 8)</b> Title: Grudge Match (April 8)
Year Released: 2013
Running Time: 113
Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Peter Segal
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

"GRUDGE MATCH"

Kevin Hart continues to win over audiences with his comedic antics and motor mouth. He puts them to good use alongside Sylvester Stallone, Robert DeNiro, Alan Arkin and Kim Basinger in the boxing movie, "Grudge Match."

Hart plays the very funny Dante Slate Jr., a small time boxing promoter who is bent on reuniting two retired and very over-the-hill fighters; Henry "Razor" Sharp (Stallone) and Billy "The Kid" McDonnen (DeNiro).

These two guys have hated each other for years mainly because of events that transpired during their last fight in the ring and some personal issues outside of it.

Billy owns a car dealership, but still could use the money. Plus, he wants to prove that he was always the better fighter. The guys fought two big matches 30 years ago but with split results. The third fight never happened because Razor suddenly retired. Billy can't forgive him for just up and quitting.

Henry, who from the looks of his house, could certainly use the money. Still, he doesn't want any part of a rematch. That's until he gets the bill from his best friend and former trainer, Lightning (a funny Alan Arkin) who is ill and staying at a retirement home.
When Henry's ex, Sally Rose (Kim Basinger) and their son BJ (Jon Bernthal, "Snitch") gets in the mix to convince Henry that he could get hurt, it further complicates things. It doesn't help that Sally used to fool around with Billy.

But Dante won't go quietly. He comes up with some clever marketing gimmicks for Henry and Billy that become a YouTube sensation. Suddenly everyone is talking about these old geezers and they're interested in seeing them return to the ring. Hart is even able to sell-out a 5,000 seat venue for the "Grudge Match."

"Grudge Match" isn't a knock out, but it does often pack some hilarious punches.

Editor's Note: The Blu-ray edition of "Grudge Match" includes these special features: "The Bull & The Stallion," "In the Ring with Kevin Hart," "Ringside with Tyson & Holyfield," "Blow for Blow with Larry Holmes: Kevin Hart Unedited," "Alternate Opening" and "Alternate Endings" with an Introduction by the film's director Peter Segal.
(Recommended).

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug<b> (April 8)</b> Title: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (April 8)
Year Released: 2013
Running Time: 161
Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Peter Jackson
Review By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

"THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG"

One of my favorite action sequences in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" involves Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and the dwarves trying to escape from an army of Elves and Azog's Orcs while they are in some wine barrels that are careening down a raging river.

The other, which comes much later in the film, features a frightened Bilbo awaking the beastly, fire-breathing dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch who also is The Necromancer) and the climatic showdown between them.

While the rest of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" doesn't always move with such swiftness and excitement—the movie clocks in just shy of three hours--these two action scenes do make the movie even if you're not familiar with Middle-earth and director/screenwriter Peter Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's voluminous novel.

"The Desolation of Smaug" falls right in line with its predecessor. One big difference is that "The Desolation of Smaug" isn't as dark and serious as "An Unexpected Journey." Jackson, along with screenwriters Guillermo del Toro and Fran Walsh, have lightened up a bit and infused this installment with some much needed, quirky humor.

The story picks up with a confident and a powerful ring bearing Bilbo, the knowledgeable and vigilant wizard Gandalf, (Ian McKellen) and their dwarf friends escaping from the goblin tunnels.

Now Bilbo, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage, "Captain America: The First Avenger") and the rest of the dwarves are on a mission to regain their mountain home, Erebor, that was taken from them years ago by the evil dragon Smaug who also is guarding a valuable jewel known as the Arkenstone. If they can get it, Thorin can reclaim the throne.

Their travels aren't met without peril. They have to fight off humongous spiders and pesky, bumbling bees that are put to dramatic good use thanks to the film's effective 3-D. Fortunately, Bilbo and company are able to get help from a gruff guy named Beorn, (Mikal Persbrandt) as they head through the black forest of Mirkwood. When Gandalf leaves for some sort of errand, Bilbo and crew are left to fend for themselves.

They also encounter a bunch of elves, notably Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and his father King Thranduil (Lee Pace). And we're even introduced to an attractive female elf named Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly, "Real Steel").

Is romance in the air? Sure seems like it as Tauriel is showing love for Legolas and Kili the dwarf (Aidan Turner). One thing is for sure. Her admiration for these guys is as spot on as her aim with a bow and arrow.

Bilbo and the dwarves luck out when they stumble upon Laketown and a boatman (Luke Evans, "Fast & Furious 6"). He lives near the mountain and agrees to help them along their journey.
With "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug" Peter Jackson's second entry is spectacular at times and mildly interesting at others.

Editor's Note: There are some pretty good features on the Blu-ray and DVD editions: They include: "Peter Jackson Invites You to the Set: In the Company of the Hobbit" and "Peter Jackson Invites You to the Set: All in a Day's Work." "New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth, Part 2" is a piece that takes viewers into New Zealand with Peter Jackson and the filmmakers for a chronicle of how Middle-earth was created. A music video for Ed Sheeran's theme song, "I See Fire," is included too.
(Recommended).
  MOVIE TRIVIA
 
WHAT ACTRESS WAS INITIALLY CONSIDERED FOR WHITNEY HOUSTON'S ROLE IN "THE PREACHER'S WIFE?"
JULIA ROBERTS
BETTE MIDLER
DIAHANN CARROLL
BARBRA STREISAND
 
  "REEL" MOVIE NEWS
SONOMA VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL 2014 By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

THE SONOMA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL RUNS APRIL 2-6

The Sonoma and Napa Valley is the place to be this week and weekend as the Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) kicks off April 2 and runs through April 6.

In addition, the invitation only and private festival, "Live In The Vineyard" featuring Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat takes place amidst the lush scenery of boutique wineries in Napa Valley April 3-6.

N2Entertainment.net was invited for the first time to the "Live in The Vineyard" music festival.

This is N2Entertainment.net's seventh year attending the Sonoma International Film Festival. More than 90 films including independent features, documentaries, world cinema, shorts, from all over the world and some delicious food as well as hundreds of fine wines and champagnes will all be on display at the 17th Annual Sonoma International Film Festival.

N2Entertainment.net will be all over the valley taking in as many movies, concerts, filmmaker meet-and-greet panel sessions and parties as possible.

There is one film that we are really looking forward to seeing and it's called "Belle." The movie from Fox Searchlight Pictures is scheduled to open in theatres May 2. "Belle" is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), an illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral.

Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle's lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Belle winds up falling for an idealistic young vicar's son bent on change that, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield's role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England.

"Belle" also stars Matthew Goode from the movie "Match Point" and currently can be seen in the explosive TV drama, "The Good Wife."

All films at The SIFF will be shown at intimate venues within walking distance of Sonoma's historic plaza, which has in previous years played host to renowned filmmakers, industry leaders and celebrities such as Bruce Willis, Michael Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams, and Danny Glover.

This year's festival will feature even more specialized events. It's not too late to get your tickets. Advance tickets are on sale now and as follow:

Cinema Pass(includes all films and panels)--$175

Cinema Soirée Pass (Includes first entry to films, VIP hospitality area, Tribute, most parties and receptions, and "First Look") — $450

Patron Pass All Access (Includes early entry/reserved seating for all films and panels, parties, VIP dinners and Tribute) — $2,500

Day of Festival Passes are as follows:

Cinema Pass — $250

Cinema Soirée Pass — $600

Patron Pass / All Access — $2,500

Here is a partial list of the Sonoma International Film Festival highlights.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2-- 5:30--7:30 pm OPENING RECEPTION-- Backlot Tent, Center of Sonoma Square

7:45 pm OPENING NIGHT SCREENING OF "Dom Hemingway" at the Sebastiani Theatre

8:15 pm OPENING NIGHT SCREENING OF "Beside Still Waters" at Andrews Hall

10:00-12:00 AFTER PARTY-- Burgers & Vine, 400 First St., E., Sonoma, CA 95476

Thursday, April 3-- 9:30 am--12 Noon. SVHS MEDIA ARTS PROGRAM Sebastiani Theatre, 476 1st St. East, Sonoma, CA 95476

6:00 p.m. "VINTNERS, GROWERS & GROOVERS" Backlot Tent, Center of Sonoma Square

An evening to celebrate Sonoma Valley, our local filmmaker Casey Beck ("The Organic Life" – farm to table doc) as well as the director/writer Gary McDonald and actors Harry Hamlin and Kristen Kerr of "The Fourth Noble Truth," a romance surrounding an A-list movie star who is busted for road rage assault and sent by his lawyer to a mediation teacher for help. Their relationship and story proves intriguing and appealing.

GOOD EATING-- A down-home food buffet will follow and feature fried chicken and riblettes by Sondra Bernstein, the girl and the fig. Wines will be provided by Chateau St. Jean. Music by the John Brothers Piano Quartet.

10:00--Midnight AFTER PARTY-- Hopmonk Tavern, 691 Broadway, Sonoma, CA 95476

FRIDAY, APRIL 4-- 1:00 – 3:00 pm "INDUSTRY MIXER"-- Hopmonk Tavern, 691 Broadway, Sonoma, CA 95476 Industry professionals are invited to a mixer in the beer garden of Hopmonk Tavern. It's an annual Friday afternoon tradition where old & new friends meet.

5:30--7:30 pm LATIN FIESTA-- Backlot Tent, Center of Sonoma Square on the north side of City Hall Filmmakers from Cuba, Venezuela and Mexico, patrons and guests celebrate the Valley's diversity with the rhythms of the Carlos Herrera Band, folkloric dances by the Quetzalen group and flavors by Rancho Viejo, La Casa, Maya & Bay Area Catering paired with Robledo wines at the Backlot Tent. Following the Fiesta will be screening of the signature Cuban musical "Chronic Love/Amor Crónico" with the presence of Cuban actor/director Jorge Perugorria. This film is part of the Cuban focus on the "Vamos al Cine" program featuring the best of cinema en español.

7:00--10:00 pm "BORN IN CHICAGO"-- Film and Concert In the 1960s icons of urban blues, including Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, passed the musical torch to a coterie of unlikely next generation admirers, among whom were Paul Butterfield, Michael Bloomfield, Barry Goldberg, Nick Gravenites, Harvey Mandel and Corky Siegel. Following the film some of the musicians in the film will perform live. Doors open at 7pm, film at 8 p.m., live show at 10pm. No host bar. NOTE: Seating ONLY for patrons and ticket-holders.

SATURDAY, APRIL 5-- 9:30 – 11:00 am MEDIA & FILMMAKERS BREAKFAST-- Taste of the Himalayas, 464 1st St., E. It's an opportunity to meet with attending filmmakers.

11:00 a.m. INDUSTRY PANEL – "MAKING MEDIA THAT MATTERS"-- Taste of the Himalayas, 464 1st St., E (across from Murphy's Pub) Developing cause-related films and the campaign around them is increasingly a complex matter. This discussion will include many of the considerations any filmmaker should be aware of including: the role of Foundations and Non-Profits, Crowd Sourcing, Engagement, Impact and Media partners. Having a plan and strategy is the key. Participants will come away with valuable examples of how to create films that serve a social purpose.

SUNDAY, APRIL 6 4:30 pm INTERNATIONAL PARTY-- Lisa Kristine Gallery, 452 1st St., East. There will be a reception in honor of the international filmmakers visiting Sonoma. Guests will include the Chairman of the Sonoma Film Society Board, Keith Casale, various board members, as well as our international filmmakers.

6:00 PM CLOSING NIGHT FILM: "BELLE-- Sebastiani Theatre, 476 1st St. East, Sonoma, CA 95476

8:00 pm AWARDS CEREMONY-- Backlot Tent, Center of Sonoma Square on the north side of City Hall

10:00PM CLOSING NIGHT PARTY-- Backlot Tent, Center of Sonoma Square on the north side of

For more information about the 2014 Sonoma International Film Festival or to purchase tickets visit www.sonomafilmfest.org.

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


HENRY JACKMAN THE WINTER SOLDIER By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

HENRY JACKMAN CREATES SCORE FOR DISNEY/MARVEL'S CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

Having captured the dramatic suspense of comic book protagonists in such films as "X-Men: First Class," "Kick-Ass" and "G.I. Joe Retaliation," award-winning composer Henry Jackman (pictured) continues to capture the musical essence of superheroes in Disney's Marvel sequel "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."

The highly anticipated action adventure opens nationwide April 4 and stars Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie and Robert Redford.

While the first "Captain America" touted an Americana score reflective of the World War II era, Jackman delivered a modern score that reflected the current era in which Captain America dwells. "He's a fish out of water in a more corrupt, nuanced environment with his value system inherited from the 1950s," explains Jackman about one of his inspirations for the score. "The psychological credibility and modernity of what directors Anthony and Joe Russo did with "Captain America" has an impact on the music."

While Jackman created a melodic score for the character of Captain America; he incorporated a sonic-experimental sound coupled with offbeat harmonies and a choir for the superhero's foes in the film, the evil organization HYDRA.

One of the central themes in the sequel pertained to its main antagonist, the Winter Soldier. "He's a relentless, barbaric machine, but inside of him are the tortured remnants of a human being," added Jackman. "I experimented with various melodies after two or three notes and spent a good deal of time on the rhythm." In total, Jackman created a 105 minute score which he recorded at Air Studios in London, England.

Jackman's diverse educational background complements his musical diversity that has underscored his musical creations. He undertook classical training at St. Paul's Cathedral Choir School, Eton College and Oxford University. Shortly after graduating, Jackman was invited to join Hans Zimmer's team at Remote Control Studios.

Jackman won an Annie Award for "Wreck-It Ralph," and was nominated for Discovery of the Year by the World Soundtrack Awards. 2013 was a phenomenal year for Jackman as his scoring credits were attached to films grossing in excess of $1 billion.

The geo-political music Jackman created for Paul Greengrass' "Captain Phillips" earned him a Hollywood Music in Media Award for best score as well as a BAFTA nomination. In addition, Henry Jackman's music for DreamWorks Animation's "Turbo" was lauded with a 2014 Annie Award nomination in the best score category.

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


SAG AFTRA By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs:

SAG-AFTRA'S FIRST-EVER PERSONAL MANAGER CODE OF ETHICS AND CONDUCT AGREEMENT

SAG-AFTRA has finalized its Personal Manager Code of Ethics and Conduct, a voluntary agreement that is designed to promote honest and ethical relationships between the union's members and the managers they choose to represent them.

As a sign of commitment to its burgeoning relationship with the personal management community, SAG-AFTRA's Agency Relations Department is now known as the SAG-AFTRA Professional Representatives Department.

The Code has been years in the making and, over the last several months, included close work with the talent management community. Its purpose is to further enhance relations with personal managers and ensure SAG-AFTRA members have access to appropriate representation.

"The establishment of the Personal Manager Code of Ethics and Conduct is a true 'win-win,' assuring important protections for SAG-AFTRA members while providing significant and meaningful benefits to our listed personal managers," said SAG-AFTRA Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.

We look forward to working more closely with our listed personal managers to further the interests of our members," said SAG-AFTRA Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.

While the important role of personal managers has continued to grow in the industry, the union has never formally established a working relationship with the personal management community. However, SAG-AFTRA's daily interactions with both members and the personal management community have clearly indicated a desire and need for closer ties. Creating the Code of Ethics and Conduct — an initiative driven by the SAG-AFTRA membership — will provide a safe place for managers and performers to land and helps facilitate their relationship.

"This Code of Ethics and Conduct was conceived and executed by our members," said Zino Macaluso, National Director and Senior Counsel, Professional Representatives. "We are thrilled to release the final document after years of input from our members and the management community. SAG-AFTRA looks forward to establishing a closer, mutually beneficial relationship with this community to advance the needs of all concerned."

"This marks a great step forward in honest and ethical talent representation," said manager Gerry Pass of Chrome Artists Management. "This is SAG-AFTRA's recognition of the vital work that managers do on behalf of actors, while at the same time we see all talent managers held to a higher standard. This is truly exciting."

Signing the Code of Ethics and Conduct remains completely voluntary and protects both the manager's business and SAG-AFTRA members by deepening the ties between managers and the union. Interested personal managers can download the Code and application and file the necessary documents in order to be listed with the union by visiting the SAG-AFTRA website. Personal managers who believe their business model mirrors the goals of the Code are encouraged to apply.

The Personal Manager Code of Ethics and Conduct includes preconditions to which managers must agree before signing.

Highlights include:

Putting the member's interests above their own and not deriving personal gain at member's expense.

Being truthful and acting in an honest, ethical and appropriate manner.

Acknowledging they will not solicit employment for their client, except under the control and direction of a franchised agent.

Encouraging SAG-AFTRA member clients to uphold their obligations to the union.

Keeping SAG-AFTRA member clients' funds segregated in an escrow or trust account.

Never using self-renewing provisions or collecting upfront/advance fees or charges of any kind.

Respecting and supporting the relationship SAG-AFTRA members have with their talent agents.

Not being licensed by any state as a talent or employment agency.

Assisting a SAG-AFTRA member client's search for a talent agent.

Agreeing to arbitrate disputes through SAG-AFTRA.

Personal managers who sign onto the Code of Ethics and Conduct will have their name and information listed on the SAG-AFTRA website, similar to how current franchised agents are listed online.

"The number of benefits we can offer personal managers listed with us is significant and meaningful. We hope interested personal managers will examine the Code and ask questions about both the process and the benefits of affiliation," said Macaluso.

The Code does not, and is not intended to, interfere with any future or existing relationships between members and their managers who are not signatory to the Code, nor does it create a conflict with the union's two franchised agency agreements.

A copy of the Personal Manager Code of Ethics and Conduct can be viewed at www.sagaftra.org/managers.

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 entertainment and media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. A proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO, SAG-AFTRA has national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide representing members working together to secure the strongest protections for entertainment and media artists into the 21st century and beyond.

Visit SAG-AFTRA online at SAGAFTRA.org. Follow SAG-AFTRA on Twitter (twitter.com/sagaftra.

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