Rosie Casals & Women’s Tennis’ Original 9 to be Subject of Docu-Series About Their Fight for Equality

Rosie Casals’ fight for equal pay (and more) is getting told…

Tennis legend Billie Jean King will narrate a docu-series, featuring her then doubles partner, the 72-year-old Salvadoran American former tennis player, and the other members of the Original 9, that’ll tell the stories of pay inequities, motherhood, LGBTQ+ rights, and intersectionality and diversity in women’s sports.

Billie Jean King & Rosie Casals

Glamour and Condé Nast Entertainment, along with King and Little Monster Films, are producing the series to show the trailblazers who tried to bridge the appalling disparity of pay and standing that female athletes past and present have endured.

The jumping off point was a Glamour cover that focused on how a fed-up King and a group of top female tennis players called the Original 9 tried to bridge the pay gap between the scraps they were getting, and the big paydays limited to their male counterparts.

Rosie Casals

The 27-year old King was the top player in her sport where the entire women’s prize pool was $5,000. King led a group that included Casals, Nancy Richey, Julie Heldman, Valerie Ziegenfuss, Judy Tegart Dalton, Kerry Melville Reid, Peaches Bartkowicz and Kristy Pigeon. They announced their own tour—it became the forerunner of the Women’s Tennis Association– and found enough sponsors and financial support to launch a 23-match tour with an unprecedented $100,000 in prize money.

The series will focus on that and other struggles that led to course corrections, and areas that need to improve. Anyone who watched the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team win the World Cup again in 2019 likely knows of their struggle to be paid comparable to their male counterparts.

The multi-part series will be produced by Oscar winners Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin.

“We’ve made progress in pay equality in and out of sports, but there’s still so much more to do for future generations,” said King. “People have to invest in women—and I don’t mean just women investing in women, I mean everyone. I’m excited to partner with Glamour to bring these vital issues to a wider audience.”

Glamour editor Samantha Barry said that after the magazine exhibited “long history of championing our female sporting heroes and demanding their equal remuneration, we are committing to our first ever long-form docu-series chronicling this historic fight. These are sportswomen, but they are also all women—and this incredible piece of storytelling has the power to reshape all our futures.”

“Jimmy and I have a long history of telling athletes’ stories, digging in to both their sport and a larger narrative of ambition, motivation, and risk,” says Little Monster Films’ Chai Vasarhelyi. “We are passionate about spotlighting new and unheard voices among women athletes, and this series with Glamour and the legendary Billie Jean will capture those character-driven stories. On the court, we’re seeing more and more teams standing united in their activism. Now is the time for this project, as the relationship between our sports and our wider political conversations is at an all-time high.”

 

 

Jennifer Lopez to Take Part in Revry’s QueerX Live! Special

Jennifer Lopez is bringing the star power to this year’s QueerX Live! special.

Revry and Pride Media will kick off the fifth annual music, film, and industry festival QueerX! with a special awards show, featuring the 51-year-old Puerto Rican superstar, on Sunday, October 11.

This year, the LGBTQ+ virtual cable TV network is celebrating National Coming Out Day with a star-studded award show that will include screenings of the category winners from the competition, musical performances, celebrity coming out stories, and the presentation of the 5th Annual Revery Visibility Awards, which honors public figures on the front lines of queer advocacy this year.

In addition to J.Lo, QueerX Live! will feature Angelica Ross, Carmen Carrera, Isiah Thomas, and more. It will premiere across 250+ millions households & devices on the Revry apps, which are available in all major app stores, and on its 11 live TV channels on mainstream platforms like Samsung TV Plus, The Roku Channel, Comcast, and more.

The show will also screen at a pandemic-safe, drive-in screening event, QueerX @ the Drive-In, a pop-up Drive-In in Downtown Los Angeles benefiting the community-focused non-profit, DTLA Proud, and featuring DJs, food and drink, as well as surprise guest performances.

QueerX Live! will also screen the three winners of the QueerX short film festival and will showcase performances by VINCINTROB.B., and the House of Balmain (the winners of season one of HBO Max‘s Legendary).

Other events include QueerX’s annual Powerhouse Industry Pitchfest, presented by Final Draft. On October 17, Revry is giving any creator the rare opportunity to pitch a project face-to-face with top industry producers and decision makers. Only 20 pitch slots are available with top pitches receiving the Final Draft product as prizes.

Then, on October 15, 22, and 29, each Thursday evening from 5pm to 7pm PST / 8pm to 10pm EST, enjoy a free Virtual Happy Hour and connect with fellow festival attendees, filmmakers, and industry professionals.

Stream the event tomorrow night, October 11, by clicking here.

Vanessa Zamora to Perform at the First-Ever Edition of OutMusik Festival on National Coming Out Day

Vanessa Zamora’s ready to express her Pride

The 29-year-old Mexican singer, songwriter and composer will celebrate National Coming Out Day by taking part in the first-ever edition of OutMusik Festival.

Vanessa Zamora

In addition to Zamora, the list of performers set to take the stage on October 11 include Georgel, Javiera Mena, Zemmoa, Mabiland and Christian Chavez, among others.

The virtual festival will feature artists who form part of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as allies who’ll be sending motivational messages to the community.

Georgel, Raymix and Esteman will serve as hosts of the first OutMusik Fest.

“I didn’t grow up with openly and well represented LGBTQ+ icons to identify with in mainstream media, which a lot of times led me to feel like I didn’t exist or this life wasn’t  worth living,” Georgel tells Billboard. “OutMusik represents an evolved world as I perceive it, a platform where LGBTQ+ artists express their truth through performance and audiences feel represented.”

“Music is a powerful medium to tell stories and send messages that tell our reality,” adds Esteman. “The more visible our stories, we won’t have to put labels and instead celebrate who we are.”

Presenters and allies who will be of the celebration include Karol G, Chiquis, Maite Perroni, Lila Downs, Francisca Valenzuela and Gepe.

The festival will be streamed on the website OutMusik.Com, which will remain post-festival and will serve as a resource center for the LGBTQ+ community. Access to the live stream will be free but viewers will have the option of donating.

Proceeds will go toward to organizations It Gets Better and The Trevor Project.

Danny Trejo to Star in the LGBT-Themed Short Film “The Shift”

Danny Trejo is reporting for his shift

The 76-year-old Mexican American actor has been cast in The Shift, an LGBT-centric short film from Eyeris Entertainment.

Danny Trejo

Trejo will star opposite Jessica Tuck, Brittany Curran, and Toni Trucks in the short film, which will be directed by Jade Tailor.

The film is set at the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and tells a deeply human story, through the intertwined vignettes of seven individuals, as they experience a paradigm shift in what was once their everyday lives.

Brooke Maroon, Skyler Davenport, Moses Muñoz and Aidan Bristow co-star in the short, which explores shifts in perspective, shifts in expectations, and shifts in society as a whole.

Curran and Sarah Wylie are producing with Tailor serving as an executive producer. The three are simultaneously fundraising for LGBTQ+ youth in crisis during COVID-19 and have partnered with the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

“Even the most unexpected elements of filmmaking have changed,” said Curran. “We took a group shot at the end of filming with the incredible Danny Trejo. With our masks on, we scattered ourselves all over the garden we were shooting in, and somehow managed to get the whole crew in one shot while staying totally compliant. Then Danny whips out his phone and says that he’s FaceTiming Mayor Garcetti because he wants him to see this. It was a singular moment.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Among the Real-Life Heroes Celebrated in DC Comics’ “Wonder Women of History” Graphic Novel Anthology

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is getting illustrated

DC Comics has unveiled the new young adult graphic novel anthology Wonder Women of History, which celebrates real-life heroes, including the 30-year-old Bronx-born Puerto Rican politician who currently serving as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ocasio-Cortez, or simply AOC, as she’s known, drew national recognition when she won the Democratic Party‘s primary election for New York’s 14th congressional district in June 2018, defeating Democratic Caucus chair Joe Crowley, a 10-term incumbent, in what was widely seen as the biggest upset victory in the 2018 midterm election primaries. She defeated Republican opponent Anthony Pappas in the November general election.

Taking office at age 29, Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress. She has been noted for her substantial social media presence relative to her fellow members of Congress

Female and non-binary writers and artists tell 17 stories of those “who take up Wonder Woman‘s iconic mantle” in their respective fields of science, sports, entertainment, politics, social justice and more, according to the DC Comics blog. 

New York Times bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson edited the collection after recently writing the original graphic novel Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed.

In addition to Ocasio-Cortez, Wonder Women of History also spotlights singer-actress Janelle Monáe, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Iskwew Air CEO and Founder Teara Fraser, LGBTQ+ rights activist Edith Windsor, transgender activist and Stonewall uprising figure Marsha P. Johnson, Parkland shooting survivor and gun control advocate Emma Gonzalez, disability rights activist Judith HeumannNASA‘s first Hispanic female astronaut Ellen Ochoa, deputy director of Wuhan Institute of Virology and China’s “Bat Woman” Dr. Shi Zhengli, 23-time Grand Slam winning tennis player Serena Williams, stand-up comic Tig Notaro, actress Keiko Agena, and the first African American gymnast to win an individual Olympic medal Dominique Dawes.

The graphic novel will officially hit bookstore shelves everywhere on December 1. The anthology will also include portraits of illustrators Weshoyot Alvitre, Colleen Doran, Agnes Garbowska, Bex Glendining, Ashley A. Woods, and Safiya Zerrougui.

Wonder Women of History is already available for pre-order here.

Jai Rodriguez to Star in HBO Max’s LGBTQ+ Landmark Events Docuseries “Equal”

Jai Rodriguez has found his Equal

The 41-year-old half-Puerto Rican actor/musician and original culture guide on Queer Eye has joined the cast of HBO Max’s Equal, its upcoming four-part docuseries chronicling landmark events and the forgotten heroes of the LGBTQ+ movement.

Jai Rodriguez

The project hails from Greg Berlanti’s Berlanti Productions, Jim Parsons and That’s Wonderful Productions, Scout Productions, Jon Jashni and Warner Horizon Unscripted Television.

In addition to Rodriguez, who’ll portray José Sarria, the first openly gay candidate for public office in the United States, the cast includes Samira Wiley, Cheyenne Jackson, Anthony Rapp, Sara Gilbert, Shannon Purser, Heather Matarazzo, Jamie Clayton, Isis King, Gale Harold.

They’ll allportray the LBGTQ+ visionaries in the docuseries that contains never-before-seen archival footage.

Part one of the docuseries explores the rise of early organizations, The Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis in Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively; part two stories chronicles the 20th century trans experience, bookended by the 1966 Compton Cafeteria riots in San Francisco; part three examines the contributions from the Black community on the growing LGBTQ+ civil rights movement; and part four ties in the decades long struggles with the culminated Stonewall uprising – the beginning of the Pride movement.

Stephen Kijak is the showrunner and director of episodes one, three and four alongside ground-breaking trans director Kimberly Reed, who directs episode two.

Here’s a full list with character descriptions:

Cheyenne Jackson as Dale Jennings. Dale was a gay rights activist, playwright and author. He was one of the founding members of the Mattachine Society in the early 1950s, one of the earliest gay rights groups in the United States. Following his entrapment and arrest on sex charges, Jennings fought the charges in a successful court cast which became a landmark moment for the movement. He was also one of the founders of One Magazine, the first pro-gay publication in the U.S.

Anthony Rapp as Harry Hay. Harry was the founder of The Mattachine Society. His manifesto, “The Call,” written feverishly one night in 1948 called for the protection and improvement of the rights of homosexuals and was the foundation on which the group was built.

Shannon Purser & Heather Matarazzo as Del Martin & Phyllis Lyon. Del & Phyllis were a lesbian couple (together for 56 years until Martin’s death in 2008) who founded the Daughters of Bilitis in San Francisco in 1955, the first social and political organization for lesbians in the United States. They also published The Ladder, the first nationally distributed lesbian publication in the US. Active in both gay and feminist politics their whole lives, they were the first same-sex couple to legally wed.

Sara Gilbert as J.M. From Cleveland. “JM” is an “anonymous reader” of The Ladder, representing the isolated lesbians of the 1950’s who found a lifeline in the pages of the magazine, but who were forced to live closeted lives for fear of losing jobs, friends and family.

Anne Ramsay as The FBI Agent: A composite character, the FBI kept active files on the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis – gay groups were often linked to communism and considered to be dangerous subversives.

Alexandra Grey as Lucy Hicks Anderson. Socialite, chef, and prohibition-era entrepreneur – and one of the first documented Black transgender persons in the USA — Lucy Hicks Anderson was one of the most prominent citizens of Oxnard, CA until 1945 when a syphilis outbreak at her brothel became her undoing, outing her to the community.

Theo Germaine as Jack Starr. Jack is a little-known character in the history of folks who probably would have self-identified as trans. He was a prominent local outcast at the turn of the century in Montana, in and out of jail and in and out of the local headlines for refusing to wear clothes that conformed to the gender assigned to Jack at birth. A Jack-of-all-trades and teller of tall tales, Jack Starr (aka Jacques Moret) is an enigmatic early figure who pushed the boundaries of gender expression.

Jamie Clayton as Christine Jorgensen. Widely known as the world’s first transgender celebrity, Christine became an internationally known figure following the publicity surrounding her gender confirmation surgery in the early 1950’s. She became a popular nightclub entertainer, author, and lecturer and used her celebrity to advance the cause of transgender rights.

Isis King as Alexis. “Alexis” is a composite character, the spirit of the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot in 1966, one of the first known instances of trans and queer folk rising up against police harassment – three years before the Stonewall Riots.

Samira Wiley as Lorraine Hannsberry. Author of the landmark play “A Raisin in the Sun,” Lorraine Hansberry was the first African American female author to have a play performed on Broadway. She was a radical and forceful voice within the Civil Rights Movement, who died far too young at age 34 of pancreatic cancer. While closeted during her lifetime, she wrote extensively under a variety of pseudonyms – in plays, stories and letters that discussed her lesbianism and the oppression of homosexuals in society.

Keiynan Lonsdale as Bayard Rustin. Bayard was an American leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, nonviolence, and gay rights. He was a close mentor and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and one of the chief architects of the March on Washington. Because of a 1953 arrest on sex charges his sexuality was often weaponized against him and the movement, but he remained a tireless advocate for social justice his entire life – and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barak Obama in 2013.

Jai Rodriguez as José Sarria. In 1961 José became the first openly gay candidate for public office in the United States, running for a seat on the SF Board of Supervisors 16 years before Harvey Milk. He is also remembered as a beloved and inspiring drag performer at SF’s Black Cat Bar, who raised the spirits and political consciousness of the bar’s gay male patrons with his rousing anthem “God Save Us Nelly Queens”! A lifelong advocate and activist, José founded the Imperial Court System, one of the oldest and largest LGBT organizations in the world.

Hailie Sahar as Sylvia Rivera. Sylvia was a Latina American gay liberation and transgender rights activist. Prominent as an activist and community worker in New York, Rivera, along with close friend Marsha P. Johnson, co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries in 1970, a group dedicated to helping homeless young drag queens, gay youth, and trans women. Whether true or a bit of self myth-making, Sylvia placed herself at the center of the Stonewall Riots – either way, her perspective on the riots and its aftermath are an indelible part of the oral history of Stonewall.

Scott Turner Schofield as Craig Rodwell. Craig was an American gay rights activist known for founding the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop in 1967, the first bookstore devoted to gay and lesbian authors. A witness and participant in the Stonewall riots, he was one of the prime movers in the creation of the first New York City Pride demonstration.

Cole Doman as Mark Segal. Mark is an American journalist and prominent gay rights activist. He participated in the Stonewall riots and was one of the original founders of the Gay Liberation Front where he created its Gay Youth program.

Elizabeth Faith Ludlow as Stormé DeLarverie. Stormé was a gay civil rights icon and entertainer whose scuffle with police was, according to many eyewitnesses, the spark that ignited the Stonewall riots, spurring the crowd to action. She worked for much of her life as an MC, singer, bouncer, bodyguard and volunteer street patrol worker, the “guardian of lesbians in the Village.”

Gale Harold as Howard Smith. Howard was an Oscar-winning film director, producer, journalist, screenwriter, actor and radio broadcaster. At the peak of the historic Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969, he managed to get inside the now famous bar with his Village Voice reporter’s police credentials. He was the only journalist who reported about the siege from that dangerous vantage point.

Sam Pancake as Dick Leitsch. Dick was a prominent LGBTQ rights activist and president of the Mattachine Society in the 1960s. He is also known for being the first gay reporter to publish an account of the Stonewall Riots, which appeared in a special edition of the Mattachine Newsletter the day after he witnessed the first night of the riot.

Yalitza Aparicio Among the Latino Professionals Invited to Join The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS)

Yalitza Aparicio’s joining The Academy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has released its annual list of invitations to join the organization, with the 26-year-old Mexican actress and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Indigenous Peoples among the 819 extended an invite.

Yalitza Aparicio

Aparicio, one of Time magazine’s100 most influential people in the world in 2019,earned an Oscar nod in the Best Actress category for her performance in Alfonso Cuarón‘s 2018 Spanish-language drama Roma. With the nomination for her actig debut, she became the first Indigenous American woman and the second Mexican woman to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination.

But Aparcio isn’t the only Latino/a to make the list…

Other invitees in the Actors branch include Bobby Cannavale, who appeared in The IrishmanOverboard’s Eva LongoriaKnives Out star Ana de Armas and Gringo actor Yul Vazquez.

Invitees in the Music branch include Andrea Guerra (Hotel Rwanda) and Cuban-American jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, who worked on the music for Clint Eastwood’s films Richard Jewell and The Mule.

The Directors branch sent out invitations to Latino filmmakers Icíar Bolláin (Spanish), Felipe Cazals (Mexican), Sebastián Cordero (Ecuadorian), Luis Estrada (Mexican), Alejandro Landes (Colombian-Ecuadorian),Jorge Alí Triana (Colombian) and  Andrés Wood (Chilean).

This year’s new class demonstrates The Academy’s commitment to erasing the stigma of not being inclusive, particularly in terms of women, international members and underrepresented ethnic/racial communities.

The organization reports this year’s class breakdown is 49% international, 45% women, and 36% underrepresented ethnic/racial. 

The overwhelming number of those invited to join the Academy end up accepting. 

The total active membership in 2019 was 8,946, with 8,733 eligible to vote. Total membership including active, voting and retired was 9,794.  Today’s additions will take the membership count past the 10,000 mark.

AMPAS says members can voluntarily  disclose their race/ethnicity, sex or can choose “prefer not to.” So, demo stats may not be 100% accurate. AMPAS also “recognizes and respects” the personal choice in identification, but doesn’t track LGBTQ+ or differently abled, although a source says, while protecting privacy and not forcing answers, they are “working towards it.” In other words this is no longer your father’s Academy.

 “We take great pride in the strides we have made in exceeding our initial inclusion goals set back in 2016, but acknowledge the road ahead is a long one,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “We are committed to staying the course.”

“The Academy is delighted to welcome these distinguished fellow travelers in the motion picture arts and sciences.  We have always embraced extraordinary talent that reflects the rich variety of our global film community, and never more so than now,” said Academy President David Rubin.

Here’s a look at some of this year’s Latino invitees:

Actors
Yalitza Aparicio – “Roma”
Bobby Cannavale – “The Irishman,” “The Station Agent”
Ana de Armas – “Knives Out,” “Blade Runner 2049”
Eva Longoria – “Overboard,” “Harsh Times”
Yul Vazquez – “Gringo,” “Last Flag Flying”

Casting Directors
Libia Batista – “Eres Tú Papá?,” “Viva”
Javier Braier – “The Two Popes,” “Wild Tales”
Eva Leira – “Pain and Glory,” “Biutiful”
Yesi Ramirez – “The Hate U Give,” “Moonlight”
Yolanda Serrano – “Pain and Glory,” “Biutiful”

Cinematographers
Óscar Faura – “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” “The Imitation Game”

Directors
Icíar Bolláin – “Even the Rain,” “Take My Eyes”
Felipe Cazals – “El Año de la Peste,” “Canoa: A Shameful Memory”
Sebastián Cordero – “Europa Report,” “Crónicas”
Luis Estrada – “The Perfect Dictatorship,” “Herod’s Law”
Alejandro Landes – “Monos,” “Porfirio”
Jorge Alí Triana – “Bolívar Soy Yo,” “A Time to Die”
Andrés Wood – “Araña,” “Violeta Went to Heaven”

Documentary
Cristina Amaral – “Um Filme de Verão (A Summer Film),” “Person”
Violeta Ayala – “Cocaine Prison,” “The Bolivian Case”
Julia Bacha – “Naila and the Uprising,” “Budrus”
Almudena Carracedo – “The Silence of Others,” “Made in L.A.”
Paola Castillo – “Beyond My Grandfather Allende,” “Genoveva”
Paz Encina – “Memory Exercises,” “Paraguayan Hammock”
Mariana Oliva – “The Edge of Democracy,” “Piripkura”
Iván Osnovikoff – “Los Reyes,” “La Muerte de Pinochet (The Death of Pinochet)”
Tiago Pavan – “The Edge of Democracy,” “Olmo and the Seagull”
Bettina Perut – “Los Reyes,” “La Muerte de Pinochet (The Death of Pinochet)”
Marta Rodriguez – “Our Voice of Earth, Memory and Future,” “Campesinos (Peasants)”

Executives
Ozzie Areu
Barbara Peiro
Frank Rodriguez
Mimi Valdes

Film Editors
Alejandro Carrillo Penovi – “Heroic Losers,” “The Clan”
Alex Marquez – “Snowden,” “Savages”

Makeup Artists and Hairstylists
Mari Paz Robles – “I Dream in Another Language,” “Cantinflas”
David Ruiz Gameros – “Tear This Heart Out,” “Amores Perros”
Susana Sánchez – “The Liberator,” “Goya’s Ghosts”

Marketing and Public Relations
Inma Carbajal-Fogel
Emmanuelle Castro
Fernando Garcia
Dustin M. Sandoval

Music
Andrea Guerra – “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Hotel Rwanda”
Arturo Sandoval – “Richard Jewell,” “The Mule”

Producers
Edher Campos – “Sonora, the Devil’s Highway,” “The Golden Dream”
Nicolas Celis – “Roma,” “Tempestad”
Alex Garcia – “Kong: Skull Island,” “Desierto”
Enrique López Lavigne – “The Impossible,” “Sex and Lucia”
Álvaro Longoria – “Everybody Knows,” “Finding Altamira”
Mónica Lozano – “I Dream in Another Language,” “Instructions Not Included”
Gabriela Maire – “Las Niñas Bien (The Good Girls),” “La Caridad (Charity)”
Luis Manso – “Champions,” “Binta and the Great 
Gabriela Rodríguez – “Roma,” “Gravity”
Mar Targarona – “Secuestro (Boy Missing),” “The Orphanage”
Luis Urbano – “Letters from War,” “Tabu”

Production Design
Sandra Cabriada – “Instructions Not Included,” “The Mexican”
Estefanía Larraín – “A Fantastic Woman,” “Neruda”

Short Films and Feature Animation
José David Figueroa García – “Perfidia,” “Ratitas”
Oscar Grillo – “Monsters, Inc.,” “Monsieur Pett”
Otto Guerra – “City of Pirates,” “Wood & Stock: Sexo, Orégano e Rock’n’Roll”
Isabel Herguera – “Winter Love,” “Under the Pillow”
Summer Joy Main-Muñoz – “Don’t Say No,” “La Cerca”
Juan Pablo Zaramella – “Luminaris,” “The Glove”

Sound
David Esparza – “The Magnificent Seven,” “The Equalizer”

Visual Effects
Leandro Estebecorena – “The Irishman,” “Kong: Skull Island”

Members-at-Large
Daniel Molina
Carlos Morales
Jesse Torres

Nicolás Pereda’s Narco Culture-Themed Film “Fauna” to Premiere at This Year’s Reimagined Toronto Film Festival

Nicolás Pereda is bringing the faunato this year’s reimagined Toronto Film Festival.

The 38-year-old Mexican filmmaker’s latest film Fauna will be among the film’s screened at the festival, which is North America’s largest festival.

Nicolás Pereda

The film is an exploration of the impact of “narco” culture on Mexican society.

It’ll be Fauna’s official global premiere. An excerpt from the film was screened as part of the “Works in Progress” section of the Los Cabos International Film Festival in 2019,and won the Cinecolor Mexico Award.

This year’s edition will run from September 10–19. As expected, the festival will look different due to the coronavirus.

Organizers say the 45th TIFF will be “tailored to fit the moment,” with a combination of physical screenings and drive-ins, digital screenings, virtual red carpets, press conferences and industry talks. 

There’ll be considerably fewer movies — a selection comprising 50 new features — and the festival isn’t expecting large numbers of international press or industry to attend in person.

In addition to Pereda’s Fauna, this year’s strong crop of early movies confirmed to screen at the festival are the Kate Winslet-starrer AmmoniteThomas Vinterberg’s Another RoundConcrete Cowboy with Idris ElbaGood Joe Bell starring Mark WahlbergSuzanne Lindon’s Spring BlossomTrue Mothers by Naomi Kawase and Halle Berry’s directorial debut BruisedMore titles will be announced over the summer.

The movies will play over the event’s first five days as physical, socially distanced screenings. There will also be five programs of short films, interactive talks, film cast reunions, and Q&As with cast and filmmakers.

However, the festival has acknowledged that its plans for an in-person festival will be contingent on the local government’s “reopening framework to ensure that festival venues and workplaces practice, meet and exceed public health guidelines.” Large gatherings still aren’t permitted in Toronto.

TIFF temporarily closed its year-round offices and cinemas at TIFF Bell Lightbox in March due to the pandemic. The organization is now taking steps to prepare for reopening and working with medical advisors and public health officials to ensure safe conditions.

Meanwhile, TIFF is launching a bespoke digital platform for the festival. The organization has partnered with Shift72 on the platform, which will host digital screenings, talks and special events.

The Industry Conference will be online-only this year, with screenings for press and industry taking place on the digital platform only. The fest says there will be “advanced security and anti-piracy measures, access to buyers, and opportunities for networking.”

For 2020, TIFF says it will welcome 50 filmmakers and actors as TIFF Ambassadors to help the festival deliver its program. They will include Ava DuVernayTaika Waititi, Anurag KashyapNicole KidmanMartin ScorseseNadine LabakiAlfonso CuarónTantoo CardinalRiz Ahmed, Isabelle HuppertClaire DenisAtom EgoyanPriyanka Chopra, Viggo MortensenZhang ZiyiDavid OyelowoLulu Wang, Rosamund PikeSarah Gadon and Denis Villeneuve.

TIFF will also present its annual TIFF Tribute Awards, acknowledging and celebrating outstanding contributors to the film industry. 

Now in its third year, TIFF’s Media Inclusion Initiative will continue to accredit eligible black, indigenous, people of color, LGBTQ+ and female emerging film critics. New this year, TIFF is also offering companies and individuals the opportunity to gift industry access to 250 underrepresented emerging filmmakers from around the world.

Ricky Martin to Take Part in “Can’t Cancel Pride: A COVID-19 Relief Benefit for the LGBTQ+ Community”

Ricky Martin is expressing his Pride

While Pride Month parades have been put on hold throughout the world, the 48-year-old Puerto Rican superstar is helping the LGTBQ+ community celebrate in a special way. 

Ricky Martin

P&G and iHeartMedia have joined forces for “Can’t Cancel Pride: A COVID-19 Relief Benefit for the LGBTQ+ Community.” 

The special will raise funds for LGTBQ+ communities most impacted by COVID-19

It will stream on Thursday, June 25 at 9:00 pm PT on iHeartRadio’s Facebook and InstagramPrideRadio.com and broadcast on iHeartMedia stations nationwide.

In addition to Martin, the event will feature appearances by Billy PorterBig Freedia,Adam LambertMelissa EtheridgeKaty PerryKim PetrasSia among others. The celebration will culminate with a one-hour special hosted by leading iHeartMedia on-air personality Elvis Duran and actress and LGBTQ+ advocate Laverne Cox.

“There’s no question COVID-19 has impacted the LGBTQ+ community in a variety of ways, and at this time in the U.S., the struggle for equality and inclusion has never been more important,” said Gayle Troberman, Chief Marketing Officer for iHeartMedia. “Now is a time we need to come together to support the organizations that help bring critical resources to LGBTQ people in need and Can’t Cancel Pride aims to do just that. Like always, Pride will continue to represent the resilience, beauty and strength of the LGBTQ+ community around the nation and the globe.”

Martin publicly came out as gay in March 2010, stating: “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.” He added that “these years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within, and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn’t even know existed.” He has since been a dynamic activist for the LGBTQ+ community.

In May, Marin released a six-track album  Pausa, the first of a two-part album. The follow-up, Play, is expected to be released in September 202

Pabllo Vittar Starring in Calvin Klein’s New Pride Campaign

Pabllo Vittar is showing her pride in a big way…

The 25-year-old Brazilian drag queen and singer-songwriter, who has spoken out about the issues the LGBTQ+ community singer the beginning of her career, is now sharing her pride in a global way.

Pabllo Vittar Calvin Klein Pride Campaign

Vittar has been announced as one of the newest members of Calvin Klein‘s brand new Pride campaign, #PROUDINMYCALVINS

In the official photo released from the star’s shoot, Vittar’s big and bold drag persona is replaced with a minimally made-up Vittar posing in the brand’s yellow Pride crop top.

Pabllo Vittar Calvin Klein Pride Campaign

But Vittar isn’t the only proud artists named to the campaign lineup…

The campaign also includes queer stars Chella ManMaryVTommy DorfmanJari JonesMina GergesGia WoodsReese King and Ama Elesser.

Pabllo Vittar Calvin Klein Pride Campaign

The shoot’s photographer made it clear the importance of having these stories told by queer people for queer people.

“Using a cast and crew that spans the full LGBTQ+ spectrum, we wanted to make sure that the entire community feels represented, included and celebrated,” said Ryan McGinley. “My goal is always to create honest photos that connect to the viewer on a human level and show the subject’s power and vulnerability as human beings. This mix is perhaps my most core value as an artist.”