Jimmy Smits Taking Part in PBS’ Virtual “National Memorial Day Concert”

Jimmy Smits is honoring the military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces in a special way…

The 64-year-old half-Puerto Rican actor will be taking part in the National Memorial Day Concert.

Jimmy Smits

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this year’s show will be a virtual concert. But creators hope it takes on a special resonance.

“These important rituals and holidays have a whole meaning for all of this time too,” said executive producer Michael Colbert. “We are certainly completely focused on what Memorial Day is, but I feel like at this time it is touching so many of us today.”

The National Memorial Day Concert willair on PBS on Sunday at 8:00 pm ET. The 90-minute show honors members of the military and veterans with performances and personal stories, it’s is a 31-year tradition.

Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise are returning to host the event, with a line up that includes former Secretary of State Colin PowellCynthia ErivoRenée FlemingTrace Adkins, CeCe WinansKelli O’HaraMary McCormack, Christopher Jackson and the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jack Everly, as well as General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The broadcast will also feature performances from previous concerts, including those by Sam ElliottLaurence Fishburne and Esai Morales.

Colbert believes that the concert, which has honored sacrifices made in wars of the past, sends an important message for what the country is going through today. The event also will spotlight those who have been on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis, including first responders, doctors, nurses, grocery clerks, truck drivers and postal workers.

“We just felt that, to have that focus on what we have already gone through, will bring a real connection to people to what is going on today, to show that we are going to get through this,” he said.

Also woven throughout the show will be messages from entertainers and other artists directed at members of the military, veterans and front-line workers. The list includes Chris EvansGeorge Clooney, Gwyneth PaltrowJulianne MooreJimmy KimmelMark Wahlberg and Smits. 

The National Memorial Day Concert also will air on the American Forces Network, and will be streamed on YouTube and Facebook, as well as PBS.org. It also will be available on demand.

Here’s the list of performers with taped messages: Anthony RamosBlair UnderwoodBrian TeeChely WrightChris EvansCourteney CoxDenis LearyDule HillGeorge ClooneyGraham GreeneGwyneth PaltrowJaina Lee OrtizJennifer GarnerJimmy KimmelJimmy SmitsJon HammJulianne MooreLindsey VonnLisa KudrowMarcia Gay HardenMark WahlbergMilo VentimiglioNoah WylieRita MorenoS. Epatha MerkersonSteven WeberSugar Ray LeonardVanessa Williams.

Also participating in new and some past selected performances are members from the U.S. Army Herald TrumpetsThe U.S. Army Chorus, the U.S. Army Voices and Downrange, the Soldiers’ Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band, the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants and Service Color Teams provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.

Tenoch Huerta to Star in Amazon Studio’s Untitled Cortes/Moctezuma Series

Tenoch Huerta is exploringa whole new role…

The 39-year-old Mexican actor will star alongside Javier Bardem in the untitled Cortés and Moctezuma project from Amazon Studios and Amblin Television.

Tenoch Huerta

Yoshira Escárrega has also been cast in the project. 

The limited series will be a four-hour epic drama that maps the inexorable march and eventual clash between Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortésand Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II, leading to the annihilation of an empire and tragic downfall of a civilization that took centuries to build, but less than two years to destroy.

Oscarwinner Bardem was announced in the role of Cortés last year and will also serve as an executive producer on the project.

Huerta will play Moctezuma, the Emperor of the Aztecs. Escárrega will play Marina, strategic partner, translator and consort to Hernán Cortés.

From Amazon Studios and Amblin Television, the limited series is created for television and written by Academy Award-winner Steven Zaillian and based on the screenplay by Dalton Trumbo. The series is directed by Ciro Guerraand Cristina Gallego

Bardem will executive produce alongside Zaillian, Gael García BernalDiego Luna and more.

Huerta recently wrapped filming a starring role in the Blumhousefeature film, Borderline, the latest installment in the Purge franchise. He’s known for his role as the infamous Rafael Caro Quintero in Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico, opposite Diego Luna and Michael Pena. He also appeared in a key role in the Paul Weitz-directed Bel Canto, which starred Julianne Mooreand Ken Watanabe

Escárrega is a film and theater actress born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa and a graduate of Escuela Nacional de Arte Teatral. Her latest work in television includes notable roles in Aquí en la Tierra directed by Gael García Bernal for Fox Premium Latinoaméricaand Dani Who for Paramount Channel Latinoamérica. She recently worked in films with acclaimed directors Alonso Ruiz Palaciosand Ximena Montemayor

Sebastián Lelio’s “Gloria Bell,” the English Reimaging of His Hit “Gloria,” Opens Big in Limited Release

Sebastián Leliois making waves with his own English-language adaptation of his hit Spanish film…

The 45-year-old Chilean director’s Gloria Bell handily took the best specialty debut mantle over the weekend with one of the highest opening weekend per-theater averages for a limited release title this year.

Sebastián Lelio

The A24 feature starring Julianne MooreJohn Turturro and Michael Ceragrossed an estimated $154,775 in three-days, averaging $30,955. 

Gloria Bellis the re-imagined English-language and L.A.-set drama of a free-spirit, based on Lelio’s 2014 title, Gloria, set in Santiago, Chile, which took in over $2.1M via Roadside Attractions stateside.

Gloria Bell

Gloria Bell’s nearly $31K opening PTA outpaced Lelio’s 2014 original, Gloria, which took in over $56K in its opening weekend in January of that year, averaging $18,818. That film, however, was set in Chile, was in Spanish and starred a veteran Chilean actor, Paulina García, who is not well known to North American audiences. The film proved to have legs though with its $2.1M North American cume, which in part made it attractive for a re-make in English starring a well known actor here. 

Lelio adapted the story into English and then went on to direct his other projects, including Oscar-winning A Fantastic Woman ($2.02M cume) and Disobedience starringRachel Weiszand Rachel McAdams. That film, released by Bleecker Streetlast April, continues to be the filmmaker’s North American benchmark with a $237K opening weekend in five theaters ($47,479 PTA). It went on to cume over $3.49M on this continent.

Lelio and Moore reconnected after the director completed Disobedience. “She finished her other projects and we had a window in 2017,” said Lelio earlier in the week. “We put financing together very quickly and built a ‘family’ around Julianne including John Turturro and Michael Cera. I’ve always loved John Turturro’s work.” 

A24 reported “enthusiastic sellouts” for Gloria Bell in New York and L.A. throughout the weekend. The company will roll the title into top markets this week ahead of a nationwide expansion set for March 22.

NEW RELEASES
3 Faces (Kino Lorber) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $7,196
Babylon (Kino Lorber Repertory / Seventy-Seven) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $20,096
Badla (Reliance) NEW [94 Theaters] Weekend $614,328, Average $6,535
Ferrante Fever (Greenwich Entertainment) NEW [1 Theater] Weekend $4,000
Gloria Bell (A24) NEW [5 Theaters] Weekend $154,775, Average $30,955
The Kid (Lionsgate Premiere) NEW [267 Theaters] Weekend $505,000, Average $1,891

Trejo to Participate in This Year’s Red Nose Day Special on NBC

It’s a Rudolph-like moment for Danny Trejo

The 72-year-old Mexican American actor, best known for portraying villains and anti-heroes, has signed on for NBC’s Red Nose Day Special.

Danny Trejo

The fundraiser, which aims to help lift kids out of poverty, will be broadcast live on May 26 from 9:00 – 11:oo pm ET on NBC.

The special, hosted by Craig Ferguson, features comedy, musical performances and short films that shed light on children in need here at home and around the world.

Also scheduled to make an appearance on the special are Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tony Hale, Iwan Rheon, Sterling K. Brown, Yvette Nicole Brown, Margot Robbie, Jane Lynch, Connie Britton, Jay Pharaoh, Mayim BialikEllen DeGeneres, Jack Black, Paul Rudd, Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, Sarah Silverman, Tracy Morgan, Key & Peele, Anna Kendrick, Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Ellie Kemper, along with Kristen Bell, Emma Watson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Rose Byrne, Blake Griffin, Emma Thompson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Steve Buscemi, Adam Devine and Ron Funches. Additional talent will be announced at a later date.

Created by Oscar nominee and Emmy-winning writer-director Richard Curtis, the idea of Red Nose Day was built upon the foundation that mass media and celebrities can help raise money and awareness of poverty to save and change millions of lives.

Red Nose Day has raised more than $1 billion globally in the last 25 years, and in the UK has become a cultural phenomenon where people across the country come together to have fun, raise money and change lives.

Red Nose Day launched in the U.S. in 2015, and raised more than $23 million, with the money now at work in all 50 states and 15 countries internationally through programs to keep children and young people safe, healthy and educated.

Leto to Serve as a Presenter at This Year’s Academy Awards

Jared Leto has a date with Oscar

The 44-year-old part-Spanish actor/singer and Oscar-winner is the latest entertainer to be added to the list of presenters for the 88th Academy Awards this month.

Jared Leto

He joins a roster that includes Steve Carell, Priyanka Chopra, Quincy Jones, Byung-hun Lee, Julianne Moore, Olivia Munn, Margot Robbie, Jason Segel, Andy Serkis, J.K. Simmons, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon.

Two years ago, Leto picked up the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his critically acclaimed performance as male-to-female transgender character Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club.

Camara Wins Best Actor Award at San Sebastian Film Festival

Javier Camara is having a Shell of an awards season…

The 48-year-old Spanish actor picked up the Silver Shell for Best Actor at the San Sebastian Film Festival, alongside co-winner Ricardo Darin.

Javier Camara

Camara and Darin won the double Silver Shell for their starring roles in Cesc Gay’s Truman, which was the most-applauded prize of the evening.

The film centers on Tomás (Camara), who returns to his hometown Madrid in order to convince his childhood friend Julian (Darin), whom he hasn’t spoken to in years, to continue his chemotherapy treatment.

Darin, a favorite at San Sebastian, quoted a tweet about the film that said, in Spanish: “at 23 I went to see a film about death and I think I learned everything about life.”

Meanwhile, Yordanka Ariosa took home the Silver Shell for Best Actress for her performance in The King of Havana, Agusti Villaronga‘s adaptation of the Pedro Juan Gutierrez novel.

It was a surprise win for the previously unknown Ariosa, who beat out Freeheld´s Oscar-tipped powerhouse Julianne Moore and Ellen Page.

In addition to the official awards, San Sebastian offered coveted cash prizes for competitions from many of the sidebars.

Argentinean filmmaker Santiago Mitre’s Paulina won the €35,000 cash prize that goes with the Horizontes Award for Latin American films.

Spanish filmmaker Asier Altuna’s Amama won the Irizar Basque Film Award with €20,000, given to a film with 20 percent financing from the local region. 

Brazilian director Eliane Caffe’s The Cambridge Squatter won the Films in Progress top prize, which awards post-production financing to a nearly finished film, in addition to a spot at the festival next year.

Shakira Joins President Obama’s ‘Invest in US’ Educational Campaign

Shakira is supporting quality early childhood development…

The 37-year-old Colombian singer-songwriter, former The Voice coach and philanthropist is helping President Barack Obama launch a new national campaign, Invest in US, promoting better programs for early childhood development and education.

Shakira

The campaign, organized by the First Five Years fund and its philanthropic partners, was launched earlier this week at the White House Summit on Early Education.

Obama will call on celebrities, business leaders, philanthropists, advocates and public officials to help create and fund programs in local communities across America designed to help children from birth to age five.

Shakira recently participated in a Twitter Q&A with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The singer discussed her experiences with education since becoming a mother, her reasons behind joining the campaign and what she would change about the U.S. education system.

In addition to Shakira, the campaign also reatures the participation of John Legend, Julianne Moore and Jennifer Garner.

Shakira and the gang have all lent their voices to a series of PSAs that highlight individual programs already making a difference in Chicago, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Shakira’s video, about Max, an educator in Utah, is available to watch below (she also recorded a version in Spanish.

According to a statement, dozens of corporations, foundations and nonprofits have already pledged to help raise awareness for Invest in US. Earlier this week, the White House announced over $1 billion in funding from the private and public sectors, which will mark the beginning of the campaign, and hopefully encourage others to invest as well.

Iñárritu’s “Birdman” Named Best Feature at the Gotham Independent Film Awards

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu is flying high…

The 51-year-old Mexican director’s latest film, Birdman, was named Best Feature at the 24th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards, which were handed out at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

Birdman

Iñárritu accepted the award from presenter Jon Hamm, who cracked self-deprecatingly wise before announcing the nominees.

Birdman’s Michael Keaton took home the Best Actor award, and Julianne Moore won Best Actress for Still Alice. The Edward Snowden pic Citizenfour was named Best Documentary.

Uma Thurman hosted the event, which featured presenters including Meryl Streep, Scarlett Johansson, Will Arnett, Amy Schumer, Ethan Hawke and more.

The Independent Filmmaker Project, which hands out the Gothams to “worthy independent films,” calls this the “kickoff to the film awards season,”

Trophies were handed out in six categories, plus the Audience Award, culled from the 15 nominees for Best Feature, Best Documentary and Breakthrough Director.

Here is the complete list of Gotham Award winners:

Best Feature
 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, director; Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole, producers

Best Actress
 Julianne Moore in Still Alice

Best Actor
 Michael Keaton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance)

Best Documentary
 CITIZENFOUR
Laura Poitras, director; Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky, producers

Gotham Independent Film Audience Award 
Boyhood Richard Linklater, director; Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, producers

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
 Ana Lily Amirpour for A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

Breakthrough Actor
 Tessa Thompson in Dear White People

Leto to Appear at This Year’s Hollywood Film Awards

Jared Leto is Hollywood bound…

The 42-year-old actor, singer-songwriter and director will make an appearance at the Hollywood Film Awards.

Jared Leto

Leto, who won an Oscar last year for his critically acclaimed performance in Dallas Buyers Club, be joined by Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Steve Carell, Laura Dern, Jennifer Lopez, Mike Myers, Robert Pattinson, Eddie Redmayne, Chris Rock and Hilary Swank at the annual awards ceremony, held at the Hollywood Palladium on Friday, November 14, from 8:00 to 10:00 pm ET and broadcast on CBS. Queen Latifah will host the 17th annual gala.

Previously announced attendees include Amy Adams, Gerard Butler, Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Jonah Hill, Keira Knightley, Michael Keaton, Julianne Moore, Jack O’Connell, Chris Pratt, Kristen Stewart, Channing Tatum, Jean-Marc Vallée, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley.

A half-hour red carpet show will kick off the evening at 7:30 pm ET. Following the two-hour awards show, a one-hour aftershow with interviews and highlights from the evening, hosted by CBS This Morning‘s Charlie Rose, Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King, starts at 10:00 pm.

The Hollywood Film Awards is produced by Dick Clark Productions.

Saldaña Named the New International Face of L’Oréal Paris

Zoë Saldaña is the new face of beauty worldwide…

The 35-year-old half-Dominican/half-Puerto Rican American actress and Star Trek star has signed on as the new international spokesperson of L’Oréal Paris, according to E! News.

 

Zoë Saldaña

“Growing up, I was taught to believe that I am capable to do anything a man can do,” says the Colombiana actress. “This family philosophy has shaped who I am today, and is a conviction that will always accompany me through life.”

“As a L’Oréal Paris spokesperson, being able to say, ‘We’re worth it,’ means so much to me,” she continued. “I want to share that value with women so they can embrace it and execute life with confidence. I am thrilled to join this beauty journey with such an inspirational brand.”

Saldana’s campaign will include print and television ads.

“Zoe astonishes with her audacious style and feline beauty,” says Cyril Chapuy, L’Oréal Paris’ brand global president. “Attached to her values, unafraid to speak her mind, and confident in her own skin, she embodies infallible force and asserted femininity.”

The beauty giant’s roster of celeb spokespersons also includes Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Julianne Moore, Freida Pinto, Eva Longoria and Jane Fonda.

Saldana’s next projects include a television mini-series remake of Rosemary’s Baby, a biopic about singer Nina Simone and the film adaptation of the comic book Guardians of the Galaxy.

In addition, she’s committed to reprise her role in the next three Avatar films.