How ‘White Eye’ Filmmaker Tomer Shushan is Coping with COVID-19 Shutdowns

How ‘White Eye’ Filmmaker Tomer Shushan is Coping with COVID-19 Shutdowns

It was a Friday night in Tel Aviv and the city was celebrating Purim, a week-long Jewish holiday described by some as part Mardi Gras and part Halloween. Thirty-two-year-old aspiring filmmaker Tomer Shushan had reason to be excited. He was working on a brand-new Netflix series that was shooting in Israel. He had been hired as the Israeli assistant to the U.S.-based production designer and art director, both of whom were already in the country.  That March night, the three of them were walking the streets, taking in the celebrations. But Shushan had an even bigger reason to be excited. The short film he wrote and directed, White Eye, would be premiering at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas the following week. Shushan’s plane ticket was booked and he had secured a place to stay. Who knew what life-changing career opportunities lay ahead?

Then, amidst a crowd of revelers, one of his new bosses received a text from his wife back home. He showed it to Shushan: SXSW had been canceled due to COVID-19.

“I couldn’t speak, I just walked straight for 20 minutes like a zombie,” said Shushan to Casting Networks. “I thought maybe it was fake news or just a false rumor that was being spread on the internet. I thought maybe I did something wrong. My mind was like, ‘Why is this happening?’”

As we now know, just about every gathering around the world would be canceled due to the coronavirus crisis, leading to an unprecedented industry shutdown. Shushan is one of the millions of artists whose work is now on hold indefinitely as the world grapples with a matter of life or death.

As he watched events unfold in real-time over the news, Shushan could not help but see similarities between some panicked people’s behaviors during the pandemic, and those of his lead character in White Eye.

White Eye is the story of a young man who is trying to recover his stolen bicycle. When he calls the police on the current bike’s owner, it opens up a can of worms in a way that he never bargained for.

The film is based on Shushan’s personal experience two years earlier when his own bike was stolen. He tells Casting Networks he is not proud of how he handled the situation.

“I only saw the item that belonged to me. I could not see the human being standing in front of me, trying to tell me his story. I wish I would have handled it differently. I wish I had taken a moment to breathe, to listen. I didn’t need to bring the police over. It just messed everything up.”

This singular vision of wanting something so badly was not unlike the media footage he saw of humans in supermarkets, hoarding products and fighting over toilet paper. Yet Shushan is the first to admit that he understands that escalating behavior.

“Those people panic-buying in the stores, they cannot see others around them. The object of desire is their only focus. There is no ability to take a step back and see the situation from a wider angle. I know exactly what that’s like, because I did that with my stolen bike. It’s scary that when you’re in a panic, your natural animal instinct can be very mean and very egoistic.”

To recreate that same feeling for a moviegoing audience, Shushan shot the 20-minute film in one continuous take.  This way, viewers have no time to pause for critical thinking, which mimics his own headspace at the time of the incident. “You’re not even able to pay attention to anything else around you because it’s all happening so fast,” he said.

Working with a budget in the $15 to $20 thousand range, Shushan spent seven months rehearsing with his actors on blocking and line reading. Then, he had one night to shoot the entire short.

“I told the actors, if your lines are not exactly as the script, it’s okay. If you mumble or need to take a moment to think, it’s okay. That’s real life.”

Over the course of that evening, Shushan shot six full takes. In the end, choosing the take that would comprise the actual film came down to one criteria: “I chose the take with the best energy,” he said.

While Shushan wishes that he’d had the ability to see the bigger picture when trying to recover his bicycle, he applied the lesson learned to the SXSW festival’s cancellation and his own disappointment of not being able to showcase White Eye on an international stage.

“The news of the cancellation was a horrible moment for me,” he said. “But it pushes you to go: So now what? It’s not going to stop me from doing what I love to do. This situation is drive for me to make more movies. I will get into that festival again, with another film, on another year.”

However, after the date of this interview, Shushan did get that positive career news after all; his film won SXSW Film Festival’s Short Film Grand Jury Award in the Narrative Short Category.


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30 At-Home Activities for Every Day This Month

30 At-Home Activities for Every Day This Month

It’s important during this time at home to stay productive and entertained. Today we’re providing you with a mixture of live performances, exercises, and fun virtual activities to explore throughout the month of April.


Art & Culture 

1. Take a virtual street tour of numerous sites and landmarks on Google Arts and Culture Street View, including a tour of the Rijksmuseum Museum in Amsterdam. 

2. Virtually tour numerous spots within the Yosemite National Park!

3. Check out this sneak peek into Frida Kahlo’s visual diary.

4. View the collection at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.

5. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a daily Open Sea Cam from 7 AM to 7 PM PDT.

6. View all 12 Andy Warhol rooms at the Tate Modern exhibition in London. 

7. Take a 5-hour virtual journey through Russia’s iconic Hermitage museum.


Live Performances 

8. Watch The Metropolitan Opera’s nightly opera streams.

9. The Vienna State Opera, The Wiener Staatsoper, has over 40 live performances to watch. 

10. Catch up with The Seattle Symphony via their YouTube page for past live performances. 

11. Make sure to check in with the SaveWithStories Instagram page daily for new celebrity storytime reads. 

12. The Barricade Boys sing “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables in celebration of the NHS in England, UK. If you’d like to carry on with listening toLes Misérables, make sure to catch the 10th Anniversary Dream Cast in concert on YouTube, too. 

13. The Royal Ballet and The Royal Ballet School perform “Peter and The Wolf” for the #OurHouseToYourHouse Series.

14. Watch the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra perform Beethoven Symphony No. 6.

15. Follow and support #StarsInTheHouse, presented by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley in support of The Actors Fund. The series features stage and screen stars singing and will be sure to lift your spirits!

16. Available from April 2nd to April 9th, catch “One Man, Two Guvnors featuring James Corden on the National Theatre’s youtube page. 

17. Check out the hashtag #TogetherAtHome on YouTube for numerous celebrity performances.

18. Harry Styles: NPR Music Tiny Desk concert.

19. Yo-Yo Ma has a daily Instagram series #SongsOfComfort.

20. Catch Sam Smith singing an A cappella performance of his song “How Do You Sleep?

21. Backstreet Boys performing “I Want It That Way” remotely for the #IHeartConcertOnFox.

22. Netflix Big Mouth Live Table Read for Charity Feeding America.

23. New talk show series “Some Good News” with John Krasinski featuring special guest, Steve Carell.

24. John Mayer has launched a new Instagram weekly series called “Current Mood,” which recently featured guest star, Dave Chappelle.  

25. Dua Lipa performs live virtually with her backup dancers and band on the James Corden Late Late Show.


Exercise & Meditation

26. Every Monday, Sara Auster hosts a Live Virtual Sound Bath on Instagram for her series #SoundMovementsMonday.

27. A quick 20-minute workout, with no equipment needed via Pamela Reif.

28. The family can join in on this one! Enjoy a simple family cardio workout with PopSugar Fitness.

29. Make sure to dance with choreographer Debbie Allen through her virtual Instagram classes and join in the “SweatFest” dance series with Ryan Heffington.

30. Check out a variety of free workout videos via Fitness Blender.


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March Events Calendar

March Events Calendar

March is full of film festivals, acting classes, and exciting movie releases! We’ve highlighted some of our favorites below.


Film Festivals: 


BANFF Mountain Film Festival World Tour

The San Diego Natural History Museum

March 3-8, 2020, San Diego

The 2020 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, touring to more than 40 countries worldwide will present over 25 films all created and developed by adventurers, photographers, and filmmakers from across the globe. Some topics may include nature, environment, sports and more. 


Cinequest Film Festival

San Jose / Silicon Valley Film Festival 

March 3-15, 2020, San Jose

Cinequest, first founded in 1990, will be hosting its annual Silicon Valley festival throughout select dates in March. The festival will feature 950 presenting artists and innovators and 50+ special events, parties and creative experiences will be available to festival attendees. Categories for filmmakers include; Trending Films, Spotlight Films, Silent Cinema, and more, while there are additional experiences for creatives to attend at Cinequest. 


Sundial Film Festival 

March 7, 2020, Redding

The 12th Annual Sundial Film Festival is a one-day festival, run by the Active 20-30 Club of Redding. All submissions for the festival are required to be 20 minutes or under and must be either a Narrative, Documentary or Animation film. Winning categories include Best One Minute, Best Documentary, Best of Festival and more. Check out this link for more information on tickets for both the Afternoon and Evening shows. 


First Glance Film Festival 

Laemmle, North Hollywood

March 12-15, 2020, Los Angeles

The 20th Edition Los Angeles First Glance Film Festival will take place in March at Laemmle North Hollywood. First Glance is one of the countries top independent film festivals, taking place in both Philadelphia and Los Angeles since 1996. Numerous categories are included from Best Director, Best Editing to Best Web Series Director. Sponsors include RedGiant, Media Services, Acting Studios, Gorilla and Storyblocks Audio. A list of the official selections is available online.


International Ocean Film Festival 

2 Locations; Cowell Theater at Fort Mason Center and Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael

March 12-15, 2020, Multiple Locations

The International Ocean Film Festival has a clear and focused mission; save oceans one film at a time. The festival, taking place since 2004, honors story-telling that focuses on conservation and awareness to protect our world’s oceans. The 17th annual festival will take place in San Francisco at both the Cowell Theatre and the Smith Rafael Film Center. More details on the schedule can be found here


Latino Film Festival 

2 Locations; AMC Fashion Valley and Digital Gym Cinema, San Diego 

March 12-22, 2020, San Diego

The San Diego Latino Film Festival (SDLFF), honoring Latino films for the last 26 years, will take place at AMC Fashion Valley and Digital Gym Cinema in San Diego March 12th-22nd. The SDLFF is presented and produced by Media Arts Center San Diego. Since the festival began, over 300,000 attendees have been present and over 3,000 films have been shared with festival go-ers. 


No Man’s Land Film Festival

The Point, San Diego 

March 13, 2020, San Diego

The Colorado-based festival, celebrating women in film for adventure and sport, will be making its way to San Diego for a one-day festival on Friday, March 13th, to honor Women’s History Month. This one-night special will include a night of incredible climbing films by women, about women and admission is $20 per guest. 


Earth Day Film Festival 

Multiple Locations; Pageant Theatre, Idea Fab Labs Chico, and Gateway Science Museum

March 13-19, 2020, Chico

This year’s festival will take place on the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and will provide a selection of films across 41 different countries. Alongside honoring films that relate to conservation, activism, and human connectivity, there will also be a VR Experience, hosted by the University of the Pacific Media X. Please see this link to find out more information on the official 2020 selections and tickets are available here


SLO Film Festival 

HQ at Hotel SLO 

March 17-22, 2020, San Louis Obispo

The SLO Film Festival first started in 1993 featuring 32 films over a week-long period. Today, the 26th annual festival features an array of films including 10 narrative features, 20 documentaries, 22 shorts, and 10 documentary shorts. They offer a worldwide film competition annually and allow filmmakers to submit their films of all genres and lengths to numerous categories, some of which include cash prizes.



ArcLight Cinemas, Hollywood

March 20-21, 2020, Los Angeles

The WestFlix festival, sponsored by Technicolor and DeLuxe and Arc Light, is a showcase of California’s best teen films. The festival first started in 2004 as a one-day event and in 2011, they launched a new event to follow the day after screening, which involved workshops and conversations for those who participated and attended the festival. 


ReelAbilities Film Festival 

Over 20 locations throughout the NYC Metropolitan area, Long Island, and Westchester

March 31-April 6, 2020, New York City

Founded in 2007 by the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York is the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with disabilities. The weeklong festival is renowned for its wide-ranging international film selection, riveting conversations, and performances, presented annually in dozens of venues across the New York metropolitan area. In 2010, ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York expanded into an international program, presenting its one-of-a-kind programming in cities throughout the United States, Canada, and South America.



Movie Premieres: 


The Way Back

March 6, 2020

A former HS basketball phenom, struggling with alcoholism, is offered a coaching job at his alma mater. As the team starts to win, he may have a reason to confront his old demons. But will it be enough to set him on the road to redemption?



March 6, 2020 

Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers embark on a quest to discover if there is still magic out there.


Godzilla vs. Kong

March 13, 2020 

As the gigantic Kong meets the unstoppable Godzilla, the world watches to see which one of them will become King of the Monsters.


The Climb 

March 20, 2020 (USA Release) 

A look at the friendship between two guys that spans over many years.


The Banker

March 20, 2020

In the 1960s two African-American entrepreneurs hire a working-class white man to pretend to be the head of their business empire while they pose as a janitor and chauffeur.


I Still Believe 

March 20, 2020 

The true-life story of Christian music star Jeremy Camp and his journey of love and loss that looks to prove there is always hope.


A Quiet Place Part II

March 20, 2020 

Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.



March 27, 2020 

A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father. A live-action feature film based on Disney’s ‘Mulan.’





Gallim Movement for Actors

March 2-6, 2020, Brooklyn, NYC 

This is a 5-day workshop taking place in Brooklyn where actors can learn and develop their tools for movement creativity and specifically hone in on Miller’s research on essential keys to what can only be accessed through movement. The class will include skill building, choreographic studies and phrase work. The class is being led by Artistic Director, Andrea Miller. 


Q&A Sides w/ Reader One on One – Melissa Bormann, CESD

March 5, 2020, Los Angeles

This Q&A will feature Melissa Bormann, a Talent Agent at CESD Talent Agency. Registered talent for the event will be required to provide a 2-3 page Film/TV scene that showcases the actors’ strengths. The talent will act out the scene alongside a reader and will be provided feedback. A great workshop to attend! 


On-Camera Commercial Intensive with Liz Lewis Casting

March 13, 2020, Los Angeles

A great workshop to attend with Liz Lewis, owner/head of Liz Lewis Casting. Liz Lewis will walk the registered talent through the audition process and what happens before an audition begins. She will provide insight on how to improve your on-camera skills and the class will be expected to perform a commercial copy and be given direct constructive feedback. Not one to miss!


Talent Agency Contracts at SAG AFTRA

March 24, 2020, Los Angeles

Learn more about Talent Agency contracts directly with the SAG AFTRA Foundation. On March 24th, you will be informed/reminded of your rights as a performer before you sign a contract in the future. The seminar is run by SAG-AFTRA’s professional representatives department and the session will be both educational and informative. 


Catherine Stroud Casting Workshop

March 7, 2020, Los Angeles

Casting Director, Catherine Stroud is holding a workshop for 18 and Under talent in Los Angeles. Talent registered for the event will learn the basic rules of comedy and comedic acting along with strong techniques to incorporate in future auditions. This is not a class to miss! 



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February Events Calendar

February Events Calendar

Workshops and Masterclasses:


4 Agent Day

February 01, 2020, New York City 

This two-day event will involve a morning and afternoon session where talent can perform a monologue or a 16-bar cut to the panel. The morning panel includes David Gilbert from Zuri Agency and Mallory Levy from DDO Artists Agency. The afternoon panel includes Victoria Kress from Abrams Artists and Bonnie Shumofsky Bloom from Stewart Talent. Talent have the option to sign up for one session or both. More details to follow. The sessions are organized depending on the talents/actors age.


On-Camera Intensive w/ Lisa Zambetti

February 01, 2020, Los Angeles

Lisa Zambetti is holding an On-Camera intensive at Ace Studios in Los Angeles to share her 12 secret tried and true ways that can help your audition experience. Scenes will be delegated prior to the first day and actors signed up are expected to work on those scenes based on feedback and redirection in week 1 and prepare them for the second week.


Self Tapes with Josh Ropiequet: Junie Lowry-Johnson

February 09, 2020, Los Angeles 

Join Josh Ropiequet, Casting Associate at Lowry Johnson/Goldstein Casting, for an important workshop where he will dive into self tapes, maximizing auditions and helpful pointers for talent auditioning. He requires talent to prepare a scene of their choice that does not exceed 3 minutes long and actors will gain feedback on the day.


Animation Voice Over Intensive with Jen Rudin Casting

February 11, 2020, Ney York City 

Don’t miss out on the chance to brush up your VO audition skills with Jen Rudin, Casting Director who is best known for Chicken Little, The Princess and the Frog, and Frankenweenie. Jen will provide extensive re-directs to help you in your next voice over audition. Make sure to sign up today as there are only 12 spots available. 


Workshop Allen Hooper: Amazing Comedy Office

February 15, 2020, Los Angeles 

Ace Studios is having a workshop with Casting Society of America’s Associate Spotlight Award winner Allen Hooper, who is known for his work on Modern Family and Ugly Betty. Allen will explain to attendees the importance of being word perfect, how to bring to text to life and how to transition great improv and stage experience to screen.


5 Week On-Camera Workout with Cathy Reinking

February 19, 2020, Atlanta

Cathy Reinking, who has over 25 years of experience and past Casting Department credits including Frasier and New Amsterdam, is holding an on-camera class which will include honest and direct feedback to actors who are focusing on a career in television. Cathy has over 25 years of experience in casting for Network television and all materials that will accompany the class are provided.


Roundabout Theatre Musical Theatre Audition Workshop

February 29, 2020, New York City

If you are hoping to take part in a musical theatre intensive in 2020, get yourself down to Ripley-Grier Studios for this audition workshop with Broadway’s Casting Associate, Jillian Cimini, C.S.A. of Roundabout Theatre Company / Jim Carnahan Casting. You will have the opportunity to sing a full 32-bars, receive feedback and there’s no audition required to participate. Ages for this workshop include 7 to 20 years old.



Awards Shows:


72nd Annual Writers Guild Awards (WGA)

February 01, 2020, Los Angeles


24th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards Awards (ADG)

February 01, 2020, Los Angeles 


73rd Annual BAFTA Film Awards

February 02, 2020, London (UK)


35th Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards

February 08, 2020, Los Angeles


92nd Annual Academy Awards

February 09, 2020, Los Angeles


American Black Film Festival Honors (ABFF)

February 23, 2020, Los Angeles



Movie Premieres:


Birds of Prey

February 07, 2020 

After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.


The Lodge

February 07, 2020 (USA release)

A soon-to-be stepmom is snowed in with her fiancé’s two children at a remote holiday village. Just as relations begin to thaw between the trio, some strange and frightening events take place.


Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island

February 14, 2020 

A horror adaptation of the popular ’70s TV show about a magical island resort.


The Photograph

February 14, 2020 

A series of intertwining love stories set in the past and in the present.


Sonic The Hedgehog

February 14, 2020 

After discovering a small, blue, fast hedgehog, a small-town police officer must help it defeat an evil genius who wants to do experiments on it.


What About Love

February 14, 2020 

Two young lovers change the lives of their parents forever when the parents learn from the joyful experience of their kids, and allow themselves to again find their love.



February 14, 2020 

Barely escaping an avalanche during a family ski vacation in the Alps, a married couple is thrown into disarray as they are forced to reevaluate their lives and how they feel about each other.


The Call of the Wild

February 21, 2020 

A sled dog struggles for survival in the wilds of the Yukon.



February 21, 2020 

Based on the classic Jane Austen novel.



February 21, 2020 

Satire about the world of the super-rich.


Brahms: The Boy II

February 21, 2020 

After a family moves into the Heelshire Mansion, their young son soon makes friends with a life-like doll called Brahms.


The Invisible Man

February 28, 2020 

When Cecilia’s abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.


The Whistlers

February 28, 2020 

A policeman is intent on freeing a crooked businessman from a prison in Romania. He travels to Gomera, an island in the Canaries, where he must first learn the difficult local dialect, a language which includes hissing and spitting.



Film Festivals: 


SF Indie Fest

January 29 – February 13, 2020, San Francisco

The SF Indie Fest is one of four annual festivals run by this non-profit organization, which was first established in 1998. On Top of supporting filmmakers through the festival, they too have comedy shows, music, and many more live events.


Sundance Film Festival

January 23 – February 02, 2020, Park City (UT)

The Sundance Film Festival, a highly developed and anticipated annual festival that is focused on developing independent filmmakers, started in mid-January and will run until February 2nd, 2020. Make sure to check out online available tickets in February at various Park City Theaters. 


NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Film Festival  (NFMLA)

February 08, 2020, Los Angeles

Join in for an evening with NFMLA that is split into three segments; short films, featured programming, and InFocus, where they put a spotlight on black cinema. Drinks, Q&As, and networking opportunities for the attendees.


Pan African Film + Arts Festival (PAFF)

February 11 – February 23, 2020, Los Angeles

PAFF was first established in 1992 and is a non-profit corporation which is dedicated to promoting and honoring its filmmakers. USA Today has selected PAFF as their #3 on the 2015 list of 10 Best Film Festivals in the U.S.and PAFF-LA is the largest Black History Month event in the United States during February.


Malibu International Film Festival (MIFF)

February 15, 2020, Los Angeles

MIFF, established in 1999 by David Katz, is a non-profit organization that hosts an annual day-long event that honors and supports emerging filmmakers. The event includes international and US films focusing on promoting new filmmakers. The organization offers grant(s), which grants a Malibu student filmmaker with production equipment and finishing fund grants (up to $500).


Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival

February 12 – February 22, 2020, Los Angeles

The HRIFF, founded in 2002, supports and promotes independent cinema in Los Angeles by offering filmmakers the chance to screen their projects in multiple theatres for industry professionals and festival attendees. Some of the venues participating include LA Live/Staples Center, Arclight Hollywood, New Beverly Cinema and Regent Cinema.



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3 Breakout Performances to Watch for at Sundance

3 Breakout Performances to Watch for at Sundance

This year’s Sundance Film Festival is just kicking off, and anticipation is mounting for many of the films premiering at the festival. There are a number of A-list performances to catch at Park City this year, such as Elisabeth Moss in Shirley and Julianne Moore in The Glorias. But we want to take a look at some of the fresh faces coming to Sundance. Keep reading to find out more about three new actors debuting at this year’s festival. With anticipation surrounding their respective performances, these budding thespians are poised to be breakout stars. 


Adrián Ross in Summer White 

Ross is truly a newcomer, with Summer White as his only credit on IMDb. The young actor takes on a challenging role with the character of 13-year-old Rodrigo. He’s generally a loner, unless it comes to spending time with his best friend, Valeria, who also happens to be his mother. She is his whole world until the day their tight-knit twosome is disturbed by Valeria’s new boyfriend, Fernando. Rodrigo pushes back against the unwelcome intrusion on the close relationship he shares with his mother. It’s a meaty role, and Ross’ performance is described on the Sundance site as “intimate, yet powerful.” Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson is the director and co-writer behind the film, which will compete in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition.


St. Vincent in The Nowhere Inn

Vincent, also known as Annie Clark, makes her feature film acting debut in The Nowhere Inn. The musician’s previous theatrical credits mostly fall under the soundtrack category, but for her first foray into leading a feature film, the artist will at least be working with familiar material. The Nowhere Inn centers on an attempt to render an honest portrayal of the real Annie Clark that is then spiced up with her St. Vincent persona and fictitious narratives along the way. This unique premise is generating a lot of buzz around the film and its star, and IndieWire predicts that “edgier buyers like A24 and NEON may be especially intrigued by its meta commentary on rock stardom.” Bill Benz directs the film, which is entered in the Midnight category. 


Meek Mill in Charm City Kings 

Like Vincent, most of Mill’s previous credits have come from the soundtrack department. But in Charm City Kings, the rapper successfully transitions to thespian. He plays Blax, the leader of a group of dirt-bike riders in Baltimore that call themselves the Midnight Clique. The group attracts an impressionable teenager called Mouse, who Blax ends up taking under his wing. The film centers on Mouse’s journey, and as one of the forces influencing it, Mill’s character plays an important role in the storyline. His performance has also helped generate interest in the film, thanks to his celebrity status. Vulture asserts that of all the cast, “the most attention-getting billing is sure to be that of Meek Mill.” Angel Manuel Soto directs the film, a contender in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. 

Sundance has a history of launching many an acting career. It remains to be seen if the festival will work its magic for Ross, Vincent, and Mill, but in the meantime, check out our list of last year’s breakout performances. Or take a look at this year’s complete program guide. You might just be inspired to book a last-minute trip to Park City so you can experience the festival fervor firsthand.


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What Actors Can Learn From the SAG Awards Speeches

What Actors Can Learn From the SAG Awards Speeches

The SAG Awards took place on January 19, and out of all the award shows, it is the one specifically designated for thespians. The trophy that winners take home is literally called an “Actor.” SAG-AFTRA members and their votes are the determining factors on which nominees make it to the stage to accept a statuette. Regardless of whether you’re a member of the union or not, all actors can glean important lessons from SAG Awards winners and their speeches. Keep reading for some big takeaways from this year’s accoladed actors in the major lead categories.


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Winner: Renée Zellweger for Judy
Takeaway: Acknowledge the importance of what actors do.

Toward the end of her speech, Zellweger touched on the impact of good storytelling with, “I feel so lucky to be a member of this family of storytellers who get to do work that reflects the experience of being human and fosters understanding and empathy and unity. And with some luck, maybe [that work] pushes history a little bit closer to the light.” Zellweger wrapped the speech by dedicating her award to the real-life actor she played to win it. “Judy Garland, 50 years later, your community is thinking of you tonight. This is for you,” Zellweger said as she held up her trophy, reinforcing the value of storytelling and how it lives on. 


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Winner: Joaquin Phoenix for Joker
Takeaway: Learn from your peers.

The bulk of Phoenix’s address was reserved for appreciating the other nominated actors in his category and what he’d gleaned from their work. He started with, “Leonardo [DiCaprio], you’ve been an inspiration for over 25 years to me and [to] so many people.” Phoenix continued with, “Christian [Bale], you commit to your roles in ways that I can only dream of. You never turn in a bad performance … Adam [Driver], I’ve been watching you the last few years, and you’ve just been turning in these beautiful, nuanced, incredible, profound performances. And I’m just so moved by you … [Taron Egerton,] you’re so beautiful in this movie [Rocketman]. And I’m so happy for you, and I can’t wait to see what else you do.” Phoenix ended his speech by acknowledging Heath Ledger, whom he recognized as his favorite actor. 


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

Winner: Jennifer Aniston for The Morning Show
Takeaway: Recognize how far you’ve come.

Aniston started her address with an anecdote from her childhood, saying, “I was thinking back to when I was a little girl and I didn’t have a VCR, but I had a tape recorder. And I would tape Laverne & Shirley [and] Happy Days on my little tape deck, and I would listen to these episodes in my head. And I would just think, ‘I’m going to one day do that’… And then I got a Bob’s Big Boy commercial, and I got into SAG. And that was a humble beginning, but you have to start somewhere.” Later on, she stated that “dreams do come true.” Aniston’s words remind actors of any experience level the importance of appreciating their journey. 


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

Winner: Peter Dinklage for Game of Thrones
Takeaway: Make a home, no matter where you find yourself.

Dinklage kept his speech short and sweet. He thanked the people of Northern Ireland, where the series was filmed, as well as his cast mates. And then he ended his speech by recognizing his spouse with, “Most importantly, I’d like to thank my wife, who put up with me for more than nine years but lived in a place far away from home. But [she] made it home because we were together. Thank you.” Since shooting locations vary and actors often find themselves away from their home base, Dinklage’s succinct speech offers a very important lesson. That is, create a safe, comfortable space for yourself wherever the job may take you.


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

Winner: Phoebe Waller-Bridge for Fleabag
Takeaway: Appreciate your fans.

Waller-Bridge thanked a number of people in her speech, but she made a special point to recognize Fleabag’s audience with, “I have to say from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being so supportive of our show on these shores. With all the chaos of the outfits and the interviews and the six-pack that my makeup artist drew on me this evening… and all the amazing Hollywood things that happen here, it’s quite easy to be distracted from the thing that has actually happened to us.” Waller-Bridge joked that at some point, the show’s success would finally register, leaving her crying in a corner. Regardless of the size of your audience, though, Waller-Bridge’s message to appreciate your fans is universal.   


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

Winner: Tony Shalhoub for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Takeaway: Value your castmates.

Shalhoub joined Dinklage in the short speech club. He began his address by recognizing SAG-AFTRA and then praised his fellow cast members. “I share this Actor with my fellow Maisel castmates. It is a joy to know you. It is a privilege to work alongside you. And so, with your blessings, I will dedicate this to one of our family [members] who we lost this year and who we miss terribly. The most marvelous Brian Tarantina, our brother — here’s to you.” Tarantina, who played Jackie in the series, passed away last year. But Shalhoub’s tribute reminds us that he and his work are not forgotten. 


Gratitude was a common theme amongst the speeches at this year’s SAG Awards. Winners thanked other industry members, such as their agents, as well as various people in their lives. Zellweger even acknowledged a friend who had let the actress sleep on her couch. You may be couch-surfing yourself, or perhaps an especially lucrative booking paid for the down payment on your own home. But regardless of how close you are to achieving your career goals, the big takeaway from this year’s speeches is a reminder to have gratitude. In her address, Waller-Bridge summed it up with, “This whole thing really has been a dream, and if I wake up tomorrow and discover it was just that, then thank you. It’s been the most beautiful dream.” 


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The Big Winners at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards 

The Big Winners at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards 

In case you live under a rock and weren’t aware, the Golden Globes happened on January 5. As always, it was a night of speeches, surprises, and some snubs. Films like 1917 and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood faired nicely, as did series such as Succession and Fleabag. But the big winners we want to talk about are the actors that left the award show with a trophy in hand. Keep reading to find out which actors won for leading roles in both drama and comedy in film and TV. Plus, take a look at how they got there and what they’re up to next. 


Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama:
Renée Zellweger for Judy

In her early career, Zellweger started off with roles in films like Reality Bites, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation and Empire Records. The actor possesses an impressive body of work and is known for a number of films that include Chicago and Cold Mountain, both of which garnered her Golden Globes, as well. The latter also won her the 2004 Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Films like Jerry Maguire and Bridget Jones’s Diary also contributed to Zellweger’s widespread popularity. Up next for the well-awarded actress is the upcoming drama feature Heft, which centers on a mother who seeks help for her son. 


Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama:
Joaquin Phoenix for Joker

Phoenix’s first credit listed on IMDb is from his guest appearance on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the 1982 series in which his brother River starred. Films like Russkies and Parenthood followed during his early career. Today, Phoenix is known for a number of films, such as Gladiator, Her and Walk the Line. The latter earned Phoenix a Golden Globe, as well. There are rumors that Joker 2 is in the works, but as for confirmed next projects, Phoenix will be starring in A24’s upcoming drama feature entitled C’mon C’mon.


Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:
Awkwafina for The Farewell

Awkwafina has recently become a household name, and two films from her earlier career, Storks and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, only date back to 2016. She is known for her work in Ocean’s 8 and Crazy Rich Asians. The budding star has a number of projects in the works, including her upcoming role as Scuttle in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.


Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:
Taron Egerton for Rocketman

Egerton is another actor relatively new to having name recognition. His earliest IMDb credit, The Last of the Haussmans, is from 2012. In 2014, he starred in Kingsman: The Secret Service, which helped introduce the British actor to the American market. Since then, Egerton has not been short on work, and he’s starred in films like Eddie the Eagle and Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Next projects for Egerton include Sing 2, for which he’ll reprise the role of Johnny. 


Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama:
Olivia Colman for The Crown

Colman had a strong start in comedy and starred in BBC sketch comedy series such as Bruiser and The Mitchell and Webb Situation early in her career. As she progressed in the industry, she landed roles in more well-known projects like Hot Fuzz, The Iron Lady, The Lobster, and Fleabag. The UK actor gained considerable recognition last year after snagging both an Oscar and a Golden Globe for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite. Amongst other upcoming projects that include season four of The Crown, Colman will be starring and executive producing the HBO series Landscapers


Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama:
Brian Cox for Succession

The 73-year-old actor has an extensive number of big credits under his name. In 1995, during the earlier part of his career, the Scottish thespian did two period pieces set in his native country: Braveheart and Rob Roy. Since then, he’s added a varied slew of titles to his resume that includes blockbusters like Super Troopers, The Bourne Identity, Troy and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Amongst Cox’s next projects is the horror feature Separation, whose cast also includes Mamie Gummer. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical:
Phoebe Waller-Bridge for Fleabag

Waller-Bridge is another winner whose rise to fame has been relatively recent. Her earliest credit on IMDb starts in 2009, and roles in projects such as The Iron Lady and the BBC series Broadchurch led up to her breakout performance as the titular character in Fleabag. The British auteur gained significant recognition for not only starring in it, but also creating the popular series that earned her three Emmy awards last year. Waller-Bridge also created Killing Eve and is on the writing team for the next installment of the James Bond series, No Time to Die. The successful multi-hyphenate isn’t stopping there – she is executive producing and starring in HBO’s upcoming comedy thriller series entitled Run

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical:
Ramy Youssef for Ramy

Youssef got his start on the Nickelodeon show See Dad Run. His other credits leading up to Ramy include three episodes of Mr. Robot and a small role in the film Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot. Then came the self-monikered Hulu series, one that he created and is loosely based on his life. As for his next projects, Youssef will lend his voice to the upcoming animated feature Hump. Simon Pegg is also attached to the family adventure film, which centers on a camel, a fox and a goat traveling across the Arabian desert.


You can find a full list of the winners here. The Golden Globes don’t necessarily predict upcoming winners at the Academy Awards, but it may still be a good idea to study up before this year’s Oscar nominees are announced January 13. If you do your homework and enter an Oscar pool, your predictions might just leave you as a big winner, yourself, after the next big awards show.


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January Events Calendar

January Events Calendar

Awards Shows:


AFI Awards Luncheon

January 03, 2020 


77th Annual Golden Globe Awards

January 05, 2020, Los Angeles 


26th Annual SAG Awards

January 19, 2020, Los Angeles

SAG AFTRA are welcoming their current members to sign up to watch the SAG Awards in perspective cities all across the United States. Visit SAG AFTRA’s website to view the various cities that the SAG Award Viewing Parties are taking place. 


35th Artios Awards

January 30, 2020, Simultaneous events are held annually in Los Angeles and New York


Academy Award Voting Period Starts

January 30th – February 4th, 2020 



Workshops and Masterclasses:


Stand Up Comedy Workshop 

January 09, 2020, Los Angeles 

Register for the 2020 SAG AFTRA workshop specializing in stand-up comedy including stage etiquette and basic stage rules for stand up. Some members will have the opportunity to present for feedback from the team at Cool Beans Comedy, Matthew Moore and producer Corey Craig, with a collective 20+ years of stand up comedy experience. 


Lisa Beach Casting Workshop

January 11, 2020, Los Angeles

Lisa Beach, owner of Beach/Katzman Casting, is back at Ace Studios. Make sure to sign up for a casting director workshop to learn how to improve your audition skills and film a great self tape. 


Allan Hooper Casting Workshop

January 18, 2020, Los Angeles 

At ACE Studios in Los Angeles, actors can sign up for a casting director workshop to improve audition skills and learn how to maximize auditions. Learn how to bring to life the writers intent and bring your stage experience to screen with casting director Allen Hooper, from Jeff Greenberg Casting.  


Sophia Anne Caruso Audition Masterclass 

January 20, 2020, New York City

Tickets are all sold out to participate, but they are currently offering observation tickets for those still interested. The masterclass will focus on choosing a song to showcase your vocal abilities, learning audition technical and protocol, and sitting in on an in-depth Q&A with Sophia, from the Broadway Musical, Beetlejuice. 


Iain Young Musical Theatre Masterclass

January 20, 2020, Pelham, NY

In this 3-part masterclass with Iain Young, from Mean Girls the musical, pupils will learn a song and dance combo taught by Iain, moving onto the audition technique portion of the class, and wrapping with an in-depth Q&A with Mean Girls performer, Iain Young. 


SAG-AFTRA Conservatory – Self Taping

January 27, 2020, Chicago IL 

It’s never too late to learn new skills that can improve the quality of your self tapes! If you are a local Chicago resident and a member of SAG AFTRA, don’t miss signing up for this informative class on all things self taping, including an in-depth look at the technical side of creating self tapes. You will learn about how lighting, sound, and quality can make changes in your self tape submissions. 



Movie Premieres:


The Grudge 

January 03, 2020 

The Grudge is back! Both written and directed by Nicolas Pesce, the audience is brought back to a house which leaves detectives questioning motives or, if the house is damned by a ghost seeking vengeful death. 



January 17, 2020 

This feature film releasing in mid-January is directed by Stephen Gaghan and stars Robert Downey Jr., Emma Thompson, Tom Holland, and Ralph Fiennes. It tells the story of Dr. John Dolittle who discovers he has a gift that allows him to converse with animals.


The Last Full Measure

January 24, 2020 

Thirty-four years after his death, Airman William H. Pitsenbarger, Jr. (“Pits”) is awarded the nation’s highest military honor, for his actions on the battlefield. The A-List cast includes Jeremy Irvine, Sebastian Stan, Christopher Plummer, Samuel L. Jackson, Bradley Whitford, Ed Harris, Diane Ladd, and Alison Sudol.



January 29, 2020 

“Beanpole, Dylda” (original title), first released in Russia, is now being released in the United States. This film is set in the 1940s after World War II. The story focuses on two young women, Masha and Iya, struggling to restore their lives and the city they live in, Leningrad. The film features Viktoria Miroshnichenko and Vasilisa Perelygina. 


Gretel & Hansel

January 31, 2020 

We are all in for a treat this January, as Gretel & Hansel premiers at the end of January, a feature film Written by Rob Hayes and Directed by Oz Perkins. Join the adventure as the pair trek through the dark wood to discover a dangerous evil. The movie stars Sophia Lillis, Samuel Leakey, and Alice Kridge. 



Film Festivals: 


Los Angeles Comedy Film Festival – Program #2

January 09, 2020, Los Angeles


Los Angeles Sci-Fi Film Festival 

January 10, 2020, Los Angeles


Emerging Artists LA Film Festival

January 11, 2020, Los Angeles 


Los Angeles Action Film Festival 

January 11, 2020, Los Angeles


Los Angeles Women in Film Festival 

January 16-19, 2020, Los Angeles


Sundance Film Festival 2020 

January 23 – February 02, 2020, Park City, UT 


Los Angeles Animation Film Festival 

January 25, 2020, Los Angeles


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December 2019 Events Calendar

December 2019 Events Calendar

Workshops and Masterclasses Throughout December: 


Lisa Beach Casting Workshop
December 7th, 2019, Los Angeles

This December at Ace Studios, you can sign up for a Casting Director workshop to improve your audition skills, how to maximize your auditions and learn how to film a great self tape with Lisa Beach, owner of Beach/Katzman Casting. 


Mitchell Gossett (Industry Entertainment) Monologue Masterclass
December 7th, 2019, NYC 

Sold Out currently, but there is a waiting list if you’d like to join. Mitchell Gossett from Industry Entertainment is presenting a monologue masterclass where he will explore the material and offer coaching and direction for your pieces. 


Masterclass with Tom Todoroff
 December 15th, Las Vegas

This masterclass will focus specifically on audition technique and offers insight into career counseling for performers. Tickets are available via the SAG-AFTRA website and they offer discounts for members. 


The Nuts and Bolts of Background Actor Casting
 December 16th, 2019, Los Angeles

The event is presented by The Background Actors Education & Outreach Subcommittee and will provide an in-depth panel to discuss the mysteries behind the background industry. The program will include discussions around how the business has changed throughout the years, latest updates and how to market yourself to casting. 



Holiday Events Throughout December: 


Rockettes at Radio City
 December 5th – January 5th, NYC

If you’ve not had the chance to see the Rockettes live, make sure to make this a bucket list item for this Christmas season! The Rockettes have had residency in the Radio City Music Hall since 1932 and is a memorable show and experience. 


Cirque Du Soleil – ‘Twas the Night Before
2 Locations

Chicago, IL December 5th – Dec 8th
NYC – Dec 12th – Dec 29th 

This festive show follows the story of a girl, Isabella, who becomes dulled by the hype of Christmas. She is whisked away into a mysterial inside-out world where she meets characters inspired by an ageless poem. 


iHeart Radio Jingle Ball 
Tickets available in multiple cities

Los Angeles 12/6/19
San Francisco 12/8/19
Minneapolis 12/9/19
Boston 12/15/19
Philadelphia 12/11/19
New York City 12/13/19

The Jingle Ball was first introduced over 20 years ago and today, it stands as one of the nation’s top events to celebrate during the Christmas season. Over the years, the ball has turned into a multi-city national tour and this year’s lineup includes Taylor Swift, BTS, Katy Perry, Lizzo & many more! 


Idina Menzel at Carnegie Hall
Wednesday, December 11th in NYC

The show is presented by Live Nation and will include performances by featured guests and artists; Ariana Grande, Billy Porter, Josh Gad, and Menzel’s husband, Aaron Lohr.


Sunday, December 15th

Join this interactive holiday experience in Los Angeles on Sunday, December 15th. Activities include wreath-making workshops, gingerbread decorating, scavenger hunts, mixology classes and much more! 



Film Festivals in December: 


Culver City Film Festival 
December 6th – 12th, LA, CA

This independent film festival is run in Culver City, CA this December. The festival includes an actor’s panel, networking industry events, and will show multiple screenings across the event dates. Make sure to go out and support our local filmmakers!   


Asian Film Festival
December 12th, 2019, LA, CA

(First Annual) Showing over 350 films from across the globe at the first annual Asian Film Festival. The festival was founded by Asian Film Festival Committee and the American International Chamber of Commerce, encourage and support Asian films and Asian American films. 



Movie Premieres in December:  


Star Wars: The Rise of SkywalkerIn the final chapter of the Skywalker saga, the Resistance faces the First Order and prepares for battle. 


Jumanji: The Next Level The crew is back to take on the snowy mountains and arid deserts in this year’s Jumanji sequel – The Next Level! Featuring A-List lineup Karen Gillan, Madison Iseman, Ashley Scott, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Danny Devito, and Jack Black. 


Spies In Disguise This family-focused animated feature about the world’s greatest spy turned pigeon includes voices from Karen Gillan, Tom Holland, and Will Smith. 


Bad Boys For Life – Martin Lawrence and Will Smith are back for Bad Boys for Life, where character Marcus Burnett is now in the police force, while Mike Lowery is going through a midlife crisis. Watch it unfold! 


Little Women – Not to miss this Christmas season! Little Women, the tale of four sisters, is out and includes a powerhouse cast of leading actresses; Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen. 


1917 This war action-packed feature, Directed by Sam Mendes and written by Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns, is about two young British privates during the First World War and the impossible mission they were given.


Black Christmas – Jason Blum, producer of “Get Out” and “Paranormal Activity,” brings you “Black Christmas” for the Holidays. This holiday thriller is about a group of female students who are stalked by a stranger throughout their Christmas break. If you’re in the spooky mood this holiday season, this is for you!  


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October 2019 Events Calendar

October 2019 Events Calendar

There is always an opportunity to immerse yourself in your acting community. We’ve got your October weekends mapped out with classes, film festivals, movie screenings and more!



Developing Your Ear: CRITICAL LISTENING IN VOICEOVER  –  (New York, NY) As self-recording has and is becoming increasingly the norm in modern voiceover, VO actors must possess a keen ear as to what is effective and will ultimately get themselves booked. It is as necessary to listen to current voiceovers as it is to read. This class will play examples of good -and not so good- voiceover recordings from various areas of VO to develop critical listening skills. By breaking down how and why good voiceovers work, actors will be able to apply the same critiques to their own self-recordings. Lead by VO Lab booth director and experienced VO actor, Tatiana Grey, this class will offer a fun and safe space to hone your skills. All levels welcome!

Casting Access: CAROLYN VOLPE (UNDER 18 ONLY)  –  (New York, NY) This class will include a 25-30 min. Q&A at the beginning for parents and children. After the Q&A, we will kindly ask the parents to leave the room and Carolyn will work with the kids using improv games. This class will run for approximately 90 minutes. Please bring a headshot and resume with you. The child must be a paid-up and active SAG-AFTRA member.


Latino Media Fest  –  (Los Angeles, CA) Latino Media Fest is the unique presenter of the best U.S. based Latinx content across media platforms: narrative shorts, TV/Streaming pilots, digital web series, virtual reality, and documentary shorts.

Woodstock Film Festival  –  (Woodstock, NY) The Woodstock Film Festival is a non-profit, 501c3 with a mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music and art-related activities that promote artists, culture, inspired learning and diversity. The 20th Woodstock Film Festival returns October 2-6, 2019 with an extraordinary lineup of fiercely independent films, panels and special events in Woodstock, Rhinebeck, Kingston, Rosendale, and Saugerties.

Manhattan Short  –  (Manhattan, NY) Film lovers worldwide unite to view and judge the work of the next generation of filmmakers from around the world when the 22nd Annual MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival screens in over 400 cities worldwide September 26 to October 6, 2019.


Joker –  A gritty character study of Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, and Zazie Beetz.

Lucy in the Sky –  Astronaut Lucy Cola returns to Earth after a transcendent experience during a mission to space and begins to lose touch with reality in a world that now seems too small. Starring Natalie Portman, Jon Hamm, and Zazie Beetz.

Memory: The Origins of Alien –  The untold origin story behind Ridley Scott’s Alien – rooted in Greek and Egyptian mythologies, underground comics, the art of Francis Bacon, and the dark visions of Dan O’Bannon and H.R. Giger. A contemplation on the symbiotic collaborative process of movie-making, the power of myth, and our collective unconscious. Starring Bijan Aalam, Tim Boxell, and Axelle Carolyn.

Pain and Glory –  A film director reflects on the choices he’s made in life as past and present come crashing down around him. Starring Antonio Banderas, Asier Etxeandia, and Leonardo Sbaraglia.

Wrinkles the Clown –  In Florida, parents can hire Wrinkles the Clown to scare their misbehaving children. Written by Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker.

Dolemite Is My Name –  Eddie Murphy portrays real-life legend Rudy Ray Moore, a comedy and rap pioneer who proved naysayers wrong when his hilarious, obscene, kung-fu fighting alter ego, Dolemite, became a 1970s Blaxploitation phenomenon. Starring Eddie Murphy, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Wesley Snipes.

Low Tide –  Alan, Red, and Smitty spend high summer on the Jersey Shore roving the boardwalk and getting into trouble. But the discovery of good old fashioned treasure sets the friends on an escalating course of suspicion and violence in this atmospheric thriller. Starring Jaeden Martell, Keean Johnson, and Shea Whigham.

Cuck –  When a frustrated loner gains popularity as an Alt-Right vlogger, the online echo chamber turns his fears into a deadly rage. Starring Zachary Ray Sherman, Sally Kirkland, and Timothy V. Murphy.




The VO LAB’s Commercial Workout  –  (Los Angeles, CA) We’ve had a lot of really good groups of people recently for this workout. Join us and your VO peers for a group workout, but leave your barbells and yoga mats at home, because this workout is all about helping you strengthen your VO chops. Practice reading your favorite commercial copy and get helpful adjustments from your VO Lab peers. Be ready to offer constructive feedback and support the learning process. VO Lab workout groups are a great way to fine-tune your craft and have some fun in the process. Yes…these are intended to be fun.

Computer Lab: COMPUTER BASICS 101  –  (Los Angeles, CA) This is a brand new offering designed for members who are beginners in using a computer. This is a hybrid class and workshop where members can ask any computer-related question. The instructor will then customize the class to answer those questions and present computer basics. This class is intended for computer novices. No materials are required.


Santa Cruz Film Festival  –  (Santa Cruz, CA)  SCFF IS AN EXPERIENCE… It’s about enhancing awesome films by showing them in unconventional places with unexpected surprises. It’s all happening in a city and county where odd, interesting, and unusual are the norm. Located in a diverse arts community we show films from high school and college students, new and burgeoning filmmakers, as well as established pros. We not only screen films, we make you experience them.

Baltimore International Black Film Festival  –  (Baltimore, MD)  Founded in 2014, the Baltimore International Black Film Festival is produced by the not-for-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt social /service organization: SOGAA, Inc. Our mission is to support unity in the community and foster education with the best in independent film-making while enhancing the diverse cultural landscape and economic vitality of Baltimore City. With its unique paring of films by African-American, the African Diaspora and members of the Same Gender Loving – Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (SGL-LGBT) communities, the Baltimore International Black Film Festival (BIBFF) serves a dual purpose of educating the community while providing a venue for independent films for, by and about African Americans, the African Diaspora, and members the SGL-LGBT community locally, nationally and globally.


Gemini Man  –  An over-the-hill hitman faces off against a younger clone of himself. Starring Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Clive Owen.

The Addams Family  –  An animated version of Charles Addams’ series of cartoons about a peculiar, ghoulish family. Starring Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, and Chloë Grace Moretz.

Jexi  –  A comedy about what can happen when you love your phone more than anything else in your life. Starring Rose Byrne, Justin Hartley, and Adam Devine.

The Sky Is Pink  –  It is based on the love story of a couple spanning 25 years, told through the lens of their spunky teenage daughter Aisha Chaudhary, who was diagnosed with Pulmonary fibrosis. Starring Zaira Wasim, Priyanka Chopra, and Farhan Akhtar.




Small Group Sessions: THE AUDITION –  (Los Angeles, CA) The audition is not only how one prepares the material. It is also about the mindset actors have about auditioning, how they conduct themselves in the room and how they let it go. This session will cover the many ways actors can prepare mentally, physically and psychologically for the audition. Please bring a pencil or pen along with something to take notes.


Marina del Rey Film Festival –  (Marina del Rey, CA) The Marina del Rey Film Festival was created in 2012 as an independent film festival on the westside of Los Angeles. Jon Gursha and Peter Greene worked the international markets for independent film distribution. During this time they created the Marina del Rey Film Festival to make a world-class independent film festival for independent filmmakers. The idea started on a flight back from the European Markets and festivals in 2011 the festival was born. The Marina del Rey Film Festival was founded by Jon Gursha and Peter Greene


Zombieland: Double Tap  –  Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family. Starring Zoey Deutch, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil  –  Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies, and dark new forces at play. Starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, and Imelda Staunton.

The Lighthouse  –  The hypnotic and hallucinatory tale of two lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1890s. Starring Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson, and Valeriia Karaman.

Jojo Rabbit  –  A young boy in Hitler’s army finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home. Starring Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, and Scarlett Johansson.




Small Group Sessions: THE BRANDING WORKSHOP –  (Los Angeles, CA) This twenty person workshop serves to aid the actor in understanding how people see them, the type of feeling people receive from them and how they might be cast. The workshop uses the categories of visual, essence, stereotypes and profession. This is a three-hour event and participants must stay for the entire workshop. Please note how you dress for this workshop will factor into your results. Actors are recommended to attend this workshop two to three times per year, each time in a different look. This workshop was inspired by the creation of Kevin E. West – Founder, The Actors’ Network.


DTLA Film Festival  –  (Los Angeles, CA) Established in 2008, the festival has screened more 1,000 films, held more than 200 events and partnered with more than 75 other profit and nonprofit businesses in DTLA. Our programming reflects downtown L.A.’s vibrant new urbanism, the unique ethnic and cultural diversity of its neighborhoods, its burgeoning independent film community, its singular blend of late 19th and 20th century architecture, and the seminal role it played in the early days of American cinema (epitomized by the world’s largest group of vintage movie palaces located in the Broadway Theater District). Set against this dramatic backdrop, DFFLA serves as a beacon for movie fans and industry professionals throughout Southern California and beyond


Countdown –  When a nurse downloads an app that claims to predict the moment a person will die, it tells her she only has three days to live. With the clock ticking and a figure haunting her, she must find a way to save her life before time runs out. Starring Charlie McDermott, Anne Winters, and Elizabeth Lail.

The Current War: Director’s Cut  –  The dramatic story of the cutthroat race between electricity titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to determine whose electrical system would power the modern world. Starring Tuppence Middleton, Tom Holland, and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Paradise Hills  –  A mysterious boarding school perfectly reforms wayward girls to fit their surroundings’ exact desires. Starring Eiza González, Emma Roberts, and Danielle Macdonald.

Housefull 4  –  Themed on reincarnation. Starring Akshay Kumar, Kriti Sanon, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

The Last Full Measure  –  Thirty-four years after his death, Airman William H. Pitsenbarger, Jr. (“Pits”) is awarded the nation’s highest military honor, for his actions on the battlefield. Starring Bradley Whitford, Samuel L. Jackson, and Sebastian Stan.

Black and Blue  –  ‘Black and Blue’ is an action thriller about a rookie cop (Naomie Harris) who inadvertently captures the murder of a young drug dealer on her body cam. After realizing that the murder was committed by corrupt cops, she teams up with the one person from her community who is willing to help her (Tyrese Gibson) as she tries to escape both the criminals out for revenge and the police who are desperate to destroy the incriminating footage. Starring Mike Colter, Frank Grillo, and Reid Scott.


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