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What You Didn’t Know about Andy Garcia


a garcia

 

Born into affluence in Havana, Andrés Arturo García Menéndez, better known as Andy Garcia, became an exile at 5½-years-old when his family was forced to flee Cuba without any possessions because of the communist regime of Fidel Castro.

“We left everything—everything was taken away from us. Whatever you had was gone. A million exiles left Cuba in the first two years after 1961,” said Garcia.

Once in Miami his mother and father, a former English teacher and lawyer respectively, along with him and his siblings had to take on menial jobs to survive. Later, on a street corner, the family had a fragrance start-up, which is now called Artistic Brands, a successful company that is still run by his brother Rene Garcia in partnership with Jay-Z.

In high school, Garcia played basketball but later had a bout with mononucleosis that hampered his athletic performance. This led him to explore acting and him further studying it at Florida International University. After graduating from college he was off on his own to Hollywood, where he waited tables in the day and performed with an improvisational group at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. It was at the Comedy Store that Garcia caught the attention of a casting agent and was cast in the pilot for “Hill Street Blues.”

But, before his career took off, Garcia still had to face challenges that affect many Latinos in the acting community even until this day. Agents tried to persuade him to drop his last name and some casting directors tried to place him in stereotypical roles because of it.  Despite the pressure he felt to change his name as a young actor, Garcia decided to stay true to himself, keep his name and choose roles that showcased his talent to prove that he is more than just his background.

“Just look at that person as an actor, don’t look at him as an actor of Mexican descent or an Asian or whatever, just look at him for what he can bring to the story and how he can enhance your film by his participation and his talents as an actor or actress,” said Garcia.

Currently, Garcia has three films in post-production for 2015 and 2016 (Geostorm, Max Steel, Headlock), one that was recently announced (Hemingway and Fuentes) and one film that will be released next year (What About Love).

Fun Facts

  • Was born as a conjoined twin
  • He has said that Mickey Rourke was his high school baseball coach
  • He has worked with three actors that played Batman (Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney)
  • Although his father, Renu Garcia, was well off as a lawyer, he kept the family tradition of running an avocado farm alive before his family had to flee Cuba
  • He is a hat collector

By Naeisha Rose

View complete celebrity profile section: http://bit.ly/1OIZF0p

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The Struggles of Young Lords Community Activism…a story continues

Pa'Lante

Originally published in LatinTRENDS Magazine

By Eddie Olmo

The mid ‘60s and early ‘70s was the height of the civil rights movement, and many people today remember the names of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party. But ask anybody today if they ever heard of the Young Lords Party. “The young who?” Is what most people will say except for Jennica Carmona, who is the writer/director of the movie “Millie and the Lords.” Jennica, along with her twin sister Jessica, have gone back into the archives to bring us a fictional story about a girl named “Millie,” performed by Jessica, who discovers herself while learning about the very real Young Lords.

Jennica uses original Young Lords members Felipe Luciano and José “Cha Cha” Jiménez and the fictitious character of “Mateo” to tell the plight of the Young Lords Party. Jessica’s character “Millie” joins community center “El Puente” where “Mateo,” portrayed by Mateo Gómez, is teaching a class about the Young Lords. This is where Jennica connects the modern day struggles to the struggles of the Young Lords. LatinTRENDS was able to sit with Jennica and Jessica to talk about this movie.

Millie and The Lords

Tell me about the movie “Millie and the Lords”

Jen – “Millie and the Lords” is a coming of-age story about a Latina woman living a mediocre life in Spanish Harlem, NYC. Her life begins to change for the better when she takes a daring step of enrolling in a Latino History Class, taught by a former Young Lords Party member named Mateo. The film blends the past with the present, by showing how a young person of today can grow when they from people from the past. It is a beautiful story of courage and self-empowerment.

Why the Young Lords?

The Young Lords was a very important activist group that fought for social change, and fought for the rights of Latinos. Many Puerto Rican and Latino people today don’t know about this important part of Latino History. We don’t learn about the Young Lords in school. It is a part of our history that is hidden from us. We want this film to pay tribute to this group of people that sacrificed their lives for a better world.

How did the Young Lords change your life?

The Young Lords changed my life by showing me how a group of people can come together to fight for a common goal and achieve it.

Do you think the Young Lords are still relevant in today’s society?

We are witnessing a new social justice movement, and the movement of today is struggling against some of the same issues that the Young Lords were fighting. Today, we are fighting police brutality and racism in Ferguson, MO, Wisconsin and here in NYC. We are also witnessing a fight for the rights of immigrants to have a future here in the US, without being separated from their families. We can learn from the way the Young Lords organized themselves, educated themselves, educated others and stood up for their rights.

What are your plans for this movie?

Our plans for this movie is to get it as widely distributed as possible. We especially want young Latinos of today to see the film, to inspire them to fight and work for a better world. We want teachers to show it in their classrooms, we want it screened at theatres across the country and across the world. I would love to see the film endorsed and promoted by well-known Latino artists such as Marc Anthony, JLo, Luis Guzmán, Jimmy Smits, Chayanne or Calle 13.

How did it feel to play Millie?

Playing the part of Millie was a challenge. She was very different from who I am in real life. The one thing I had in common with Millie was my love of reading and writing. And of course, as a Puerto Rican I dealt with strong Latino male family members who tended to be controlling. Millie’s character is tough, rude, mean with a bad attitude. Growing up, I was more like the shy nerdy one, but I did have a lot of anger about the world around me. I did question things a lot. I think I expressed it differently. When I was working with young Latinos in upstate NY and The Bronx, I did see these types of young women, though. And I was able to hear them and understand them. They were tough, really tough and hard to relate to. But over time, I began to understand them.

What did you learn from this experience?

I learned that indie film making is hard work! But I learned what a good feeling it is to work so hard on something and see the fruits of your labor.

How did it feel to win the Viva Latino Film Festival?

It was such a surprise and such an honor to win at Viva Latino Film Festival!! We were so excited when we got that news. It feels good. I see us as “the little engine that could” because we faced so many obstacles along the way. So it was a good feeling to get that news.

 

New York’s Havana Film festival. Now Through April 7th

New York’s Havana Film festival Now through April 7th.

HFFNY RUNS MARCH 30 – APRIL 7, 2017

The Havana Film Festival NY (HFFNY) announces two new and hot releases coming from Chile and Uruguay to join the competition for the Havana Star Prize: Vida de Familia (Family Life), a 2017 Chilean drama directed by Alicia Scherson and Cristián Jiménez, which premiered in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition section of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and El Candidato (The Candidate) by renown Uruguayan actor Daniel Hendler, who recently won Best Director at the Miami International Film Festival.

cropped-HFFNY-Banner001

 

Family Life, the collaboration between Chilean directors Alicia Scherson and Cristián Jiménez, is an adaptation by writer Alejandro Zambra of his own story (Jiménez also directed a feature film version of Zambra’s previous novel, Bonsai). A funhouse mirror of self-examination, one that turns intimate spaces inside out and reveals how even the most private corners of our lives are not entirely safe from invasion.

The Candidate, second film directed by Daniel Hendler, delivers a behind-the-scenes tale of a campaign run in an effort to get voiceless millionaire Martin Marchand (Diego de Paula) elected to office. A team of advisors is brought in to shape the image of Marchand, producing social media profiles, commercials and a new public persona. Conflict arises when it is revealed that not everyone is who they present themselves to be. Is fiction mirroring reality or vice versa?

HFFNY will award the Havana Star Prize for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actor/ Actress. The awards will be given at the Closing Night Ceremony, April 7 at 6:30 pm at the New York DGA Theater (110 West 57th Street). The recipients will be chosen by three prominent members in the film industry, award winning directors Flavio Florencio (Made in Bangkok), Martin Rosete (Money, Voice Over); and actor Carlos Enrique Almirante (Fátima, Four Seasons in Havana).

The 18th Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY) showcases the diversity of Latino voices and stories in a program that includes over 35 films. This year, HFFNY pays homage to one of Cuba’s foremost forces in animation and storytelling, Juan Padrón, and the late Argentine director Eliseo Subiela. The festival continues its tradition of presenting the history of Cuban rhythms with a cinematic retrospective on the music, religion and dance of the island. Plus, our audience can look forward, as they do every year, to screenings of critically acclaimed films, many in their World, US and NY debut accompanied by panel discussions, Q&A sessions, and other special events hosted by leading figures in Latino cinema.

 

HFFNY Venues:

  • Bronx Museum First Friday HFFNY Kick-Off at Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture: March 24, 2017
  • DGA Theater: March 30 & April 7, 2017
  • Museum of the Moving Image: March 31 to April 1, 2017
  • SVA Theatre: March 31 to April 2, 2017
  • The NY Film Academy: April 3 & 4, 2017
  • Art exhibition opening & screenings at The Clemente: April 3, 5, 6, 2017
  • AMC Loews at 34th St: April 5 & 6, 2017

 

The presenting sponsor of the 18th HFFNY is NBC/Telemundo 47. Additional sponsorship is provided by El Diario La Prensa, Cuba Travel Network, Roger Smith Hotel, Singani 63, Habanero Films, AMC Independent, New York Film Academy, The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center, Aguijón Films, DGCine, The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, Funglode, Horns to Havana, Ron Barceló, Lipariri Photography, OnCuba, EnRola TV, QueensLatino.com, Playa Betty’s, Cinefuegos, Matiz Latin Cuisine, Publimax, and Giovanni Quinche. HFFNY is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the Honorable Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York State legislators and supported, in part, by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in collaboration with the City Council.

Detailed information about all festival programs available at www.hffny.com

The Havana Film Festival New York is a project of American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba (AFLFC), a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization building cultural bridges between the U.S. and Cuba through programs in the arts.

 

What You Didn’t Know about Antonio Banderas

banderas

 

Spanish singer, actor, director and producer Antonio Banderas is a man of many talents within the entertainment industry. Before he became a renowned thespian in Spain and an international super star of the big screen, he wished to be a professional soccer player and was a part of Real Madrid’s youth team from 1974 to 1977 as a striker, but had to retire from the sport after an ankle injury. Even though he had to give up pursuing his first dream, Banderas is happy with his career decision to switch gears and become an actor.

“If I was a soccer player that would be over 15 years ago. I am very happy actually that I broke the foot,” said Banderas.

Following the damage to his foot, Banderas started taking drama classes in high school after seeing a production of the musical “Hair” and then went to the School of Dramatic Art in Malaga. Soon afterwards, he made his acting debut in a small theater. Later he toured with a troupe at a theater company throughout Spain at playhouses or on the streets, but he would be arrested at least three times for his performance in controversial works by playwrights like Bertolt Brecht under the repressive regime of General Francisco Franco.

In order to support his acting career when he moved to Madrid, Banderas had to wait tables and take modeling gigs. In 1981, Banderas’ patience soon paid off because at 21-years-old he became the youngest actor in the National Theatre of Spain. From there, he quickly captured the attention of one of Spain’s most celebrated directors, Pedro Almodovar, and became a part of the La Movida Madrilena film movement after the death of the dictator Franco, and collaborated in several of the filmmaker’s sexual and political liberation films.

After a string of films with Almodovar during the 1980s, Banderas made his Hollywood debut in the highly regarded movie, “The Mambo Kings,” as a Latin crooner. Critical and commercial success followed in films like “Philadelphia” and “Interview with a Vampire.” After starring with Madonna in “Evita,” Banderas became a Hollywood heartthrob and go-to leading man. This resulted in him nabbing the character of Zorro in the popular film franchise which is one of his most recognizable roles. The other being the scene stealing role of Puss in Boots in “Shrek 2,” a character that was so popular that it led to a spinoff film which earned $555 million internationally and will have a sequel (Puss in Boots 2: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves) that will hit theaters Nov. 2, 2018.

“It did incredibly well with audiences and critics, all around the world, and the character is going to keep going… this character was born almost 12 years ago.  We have had a lot of fun with him, and it seems that audiences do, too.  So, we’re doing another one,” said Banderas.

For fans that can’t wait to see more from Banderas, he has two films that were announced this year (Dear Mister Obama and 33 dias), one in post-production (Altamira) and two films coming out later this year (Knight of Cups, The 33).

Fun Facts

  • He has a line of perfume
  • Banderas’ English was so poor when he first came to Hollywood the script for “The Mambo Kings” had to be made for him phonetically and the opposite happened for his co-star Armand Assante, who played his older Cuban brother, because Assante didn’t know Spanish
  • He has a 50 percent stake in a winery in Northern Spain
  • He serves as an officer for a religious brotherhood in Malaga and takes part of the Holy Week processions
  • He also does the Spanish voice over work for Puss in Boots

 

By Naeisha Rose

View complete celebrity profile section: http://bit.ly/1OIZF0p

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(Untitled)

It’s great to watch a movie that entertains and inspires you. Here are the five most inspirational movies of all time…you may decide to watch one tonight (for the 5th time), and why not?

 

gump

Forrest Gump is a 1994 American comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, and Sally Field. The story depicts several decades in the life of Forrest Gump, a slow-witted but kind-hearted, good-natured and athletically prodigious man from Alabama who witnesses, and in some cases influences, some of the defining events of the latter half of the 20th century in the United States; more specifically, the period between Forrest’s birth in 1944 and 1982. The film differs substantially from Winston Groom’s novel, including Gump’s personality and several events that were depicted.

 

 

shaw

The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont, and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, the film tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a banker who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murder of his wife and her lover, despite his claims of innocence. During his time at the prison, he befriends a fellow inmate, Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding, and finds himself protected by the guards after the warden begins using him in his money-laundering operation.

 

 

rocky

Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and both written by and starring Sylvester Stallone.[2] It tells the rags to riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated but kind-hearted working class Italian-American boxer working in a meat warehouse and as a debt collector for a loan shark in the slums of Philadelphia. Rocky starts out as a small-time club fighter, and later gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship. The film also stars Talia Shire as Adrian, Burt Young as Adrian’s brother Paulie, Burgess Meredith as Rocky’s trainer Mickey Goldmill, and Carl Weathers as the champion, Apollo Creed.The film, made on a budget of just over $1 million and shot in 28 days, was a sleeper hit; it earned $225 million in global box office receipts, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1976, and went on to win three Oscars, including Best Picture. The film received many positive reviews and turned Stallone into a major star

 

 

Happy

The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film based on entrepreneur Chris Gardner’s nearly one-year struggle being homeless. Directed by Gabriele Muccino, the film features Will Smith as Gardner, a homeless salesman. Smith’s son Jaden Smith co-stars, making his film debut as Gardner’s son, Christopher Jr. The screenplay by Steven Conrad is based on the best-selling eponymous memoir written by Gardner with Quincy Troupe. The film was released on December 15, 2006, by Columbia Pictures. For his performance, Smith was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Actor. The unusual spelling of the film’s title comes from a mural that Gardner sees on the wall outside the daycare facility his son attends. He complains to the owner of the daycare that “happiness” is incorrectly spelled as “happyness” and needs to be changed.

 

 

footbal

The Blind Side is a 2009 American biographical sports drama film. It was written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis. The storyline features Michael Oher, an offensive lineman who played for the Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans, and currently is signed with the Carolina Panthers in the NFL. The film follows Oher from his impoverished upbringing, through his years at Wingate Christian School (a fictional representation of Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis, Tennessee,  his adoption by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, to his position as one of the most highly coveted prospects in college football, then finally becoming a first-round pick of the Ravens. Quinton Aaron stars as Michael Oher, alongside Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy, Tim McGraw as Sean Tuohy, and Kathy Bates as Miss Sue

 

 

Lin-Manuel Miranda Live at the Oscars This Weekend

Image: nerdist.com

Image: nerdist.com

Oscar® nominees Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sting, Justin Timberlake and 2014 Oscar winner John Legend will perform at the 89th Oscars® ceremony, show producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd announced today. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the Oscars will air live on Sunday, February 26, on the ABC Television Network.

We’re thrilled to welcome these world-class artists to the Oscars. These performances will not only celebrate the five extraordinary nominated original songs, but also the integral part music plays in movies,” De Luca and Todd said.

Auli’i Cravalho will join Miranda to perform his Oscar-nominated song, “How Far I’ll Go,” written for “Moana.” An actor, playwright and composer, Miranda is best known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals “Hamilton” and “In the Heights.” For his work, he has been recognized with a Primetime Emmy Award®, three Tony Awards®, two Grammy Awards® and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama (“Hamilton”). This marks Miranda’s debut on the Oscars stage. Sixteen-year-old Cravalho made her film debut voicing the title character in “Moana.”

Seventeen-time Grammy winner Sting will perform “The Empty Chair” from “Jim: The James Foley Story,” the Oscar-nominated song he co-wrote with three-time Oscar nominee J. Ralph. In addition to this current nomination, Sting has been nominated in this category on three previous occasions; “You Will Be My Ain True Love” from “Cold Mountain” (2003), “Until” from “Kate & Leopold” (2001) and “My Funny Friend And Me” from “The Emperor’s New Groove” (2000), which he shared with David Hartley. A 2014 Kennedy Center Honoree, Sting has sold over 100 million records.

Timberlake will perform his Oscar-nominated song “Can’t Stop The Feeling” from the movie “Trolls.” He shares music and lyric credits with Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster. Timberlake is a multi-platinum recording artist and actor whose numerous awards include nine Grammy Awards and four Primetime Emmy Awards. His acting credits include the Oscar-winning film “The Social Network” (2010) and Oscar-nominated “Inside Llewyn Davis” (2013).

Legend will perform both “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” and “City of Stars,” from “La La Land,” music by Justin Hurwitz; lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. A singer-songwriter, musician, and actor, Legend won an Oscar for the original song “Glory” from “Selma” (2014), an honor he shared with artist Common. Legend’s many accolades also include 10 Grammy Awards and 28 nominations.

The 89th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be broadcast live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The Oscars, produced by De Luca and Todd and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, also will be televised in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide. Additionally, “The Oscars: All Access” live stream from the red carpet and backstage will begin at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Oscar.com.

The LEGO Batman Movie – Everything is Still Awesome

Image: heroichollywood.com

Image: heroichollywood.com

Whether you grew up reading the comics, watching Adam West, The Animated Series, or loved Christopher Nolan’s rendition of the caped crusader, there’s something everyone can love about the LEGO Batman Movie. A spinoff of The LEGO Movie, released in 2014, shows a much lighter side of the lonely and ever abrasive “dark knight” but everything isn’t as awesome as we expect when the movie opens. With Barbara Gordon, voiced by Rosario Dawson, rising up to top cop, chaos ensues in LEGO Gotham even though almost all of Batman’s enemies are incarcerated in Arkham Asylum. What could the Joker be up to this time? But don’t worry, there is a happy ending with a semi-cheesy message of friendship.

As a fan of Batman, I enjoyed the references to the other Batman story arcs, even going back to Adam West. Not only that, there are a lot more nerdy things to pick up on, outside of comics. As a ’90s kid who grew up watching Batman: The Animated Series, I honestly expected the Joker to be voiced by Mark Hamill but he’s probably still in hiding, being The Last Jedi and all.

The LEGO Batman Movie opens in theaters Feb. 10th.

CHiPs Gets a Facelift

By Movieweb.com

Photo by Movieweb.com

The classic 70s show, CHiPs, a police procedural following the lives of two California Highway Patrolmen will get an R-rated silver screen facelift next year.

Leading the new cast will be Michael Peña of Ant-Man (2014) and The Martian (2015) fame. Peña will take up the role of Frank “Ponch” Poncharello, the flirtatious and troublemaking motorcycle cop that was originally played by Erik Estrada.

The straight man to Peña’s Ponch will be Dax Shepard who starred in the television series Parenthood (2010-2015) and will be playing stick-in-the-mud Jon Baker.

Also in the film are Adam Rodriguez and Arturo del Puerto.

CHiPs will hit theaters March 24, 2017.

 

The Celebrated Diversity of the 2017 Golden Globe Awards

Image: blog.positiveluxury.com

Image: blog.positiveluxury.com

As diverse as America has become, it’s becoming more and more reflective in the television shows and movies we watch and award ceremonies like the Golden Globes are catching on.

Nominations for the 2017 ceremony have been released and we figured we’d share some of the notable noms with you:

  • Gina RodriguezJane the Virgin – Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy
  • Gael Garcia BernalMozart in the Jungle – Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy
    • Mozart in the Jungle is also nominated for Best Television Series — Musical or Comedy
  • Neruda – Best Foreign Film
  • Zootopia – Best Animated Film
  • Kerry Washington – Confirmation – Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
  • Denzel Washington – Fences – Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

For the rest, check out the Golden Globe Awards, airing on January 8th on NBC!

Christina Milian Wants Mariah Carey’s Ex

 

By lovebscott.com

By lovebscott.com

On The Wendy Williams Show, actress Christina Milian was put on the hot seat while she was trying to promote the remake to the 1975 cult classic film The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

After Milian gave some shoecam and chatted about her daughter Violet with Wendy, things quickly became about her love life.

When discussing Violet’s Instagram following, Milian mentioned what it was like to co-parent with The-Dream and said “that they got along,” that “she loved his new wife [Lalonne Martinez],” and she “liked her a lot.”

Not one to shy away from uncomfortable questions, Wendy then turned the topic to Milian’s short-lived romance with rapper Lil Wayne. When asked if she would take the rapper back, Milian was not at all for the idea, but said, “that she was able to separate the relationship thing with business.”

Wendy later asked Milian “which of her exes would she spy on” if she had the power of invisibility, she mentioned her first real boyfriend, and Mariah Carey’s ex-husband, Nick Cannon.

“I’m curious about what Nick is up to,” said Milian.

Of course, Wendy couldn’t let that response go and kept pushing to learn more. At first, Milian was open to a friendship and collaborating on another movie with Cannon, her first lead role was in Love Don’t Cost a Thing, with her former paramour, but she eventually relented that she would be open to a relationship since they are both single.

Do you think Christina Milian and Nick Cannon should get back together?