Carlos Santana Among Artists Taking Part in ‘Artists United for Amazonia’ Global Livestream to Benefit Amazon Emergency Fund

Carlos Santana will be strummin’ for a cause…

The 72-year-old Mexican Grammy-winning guitarist and entrepreneur will be taking part in a global livestream event to benefit the Amazon Emergency Fund, an indigenous-led effort providing rapid response grants in the region to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carlos Santana

Santana, considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time, will be joined by Jane FondaMorgan FreemanPeter Gabriel and numerous other artists for the Thursday, May 28 event. 

They’ll join indigenous leaders, scientists and a coalition of NGOs in presentng Artists United for Amazonia: Protecting the Protectors, a livestream event produced by Artists for Amazonia

The two-hour event will run from 8:00 pm to 10 pm ETE and will be hosted by part-Spanish actress and Game of Thrones co-star Oona Chaplin, who played Talisa Maegyr on the series. The livestream will be available via Facebook and through the event website. 

The program will promote the Amazon Emergency Fund, launched last month by a coalition of indigenous organizations, NGOs, and allies to respond to the urgent needs of indigenous peoples of the Amazon threatened by COVID-19.

Funds raised will be used for: immediate prevention and care; food and medical supplies; emergency communications and evacuation; protection and security for indigenous territories; and food sovereignty and community resilience. The Amazon Emergency Fund aims to raise $5 million over the next 60 days for Forest Guardians to protect themselves against the pandemic in all nine Amazonian countries. 

The Artists United for Amazonialivestream will feature living-room musical performances, interviews, and calls to action.

Performers include Herbie HancockRocky Dawuni, Butterscotch ClintonXiuhtezcatl MartinezCary ElwesAlfre WoodardWade Davis,Wagner Moura, and Brazilian Grammy winners Ivan Lins and Luciana Souza.

Others participating include Jane GoodallTom Bergeron, Ed Begley Jr.Frances FisherMatti Caspi, Suyan CaspiWendie MalickScottie ThompsonKali UchisRocky DawuniCeline CousteauMatthew ModineQ’orianka KilcherChloe Smith from Rising AppalachiaSonia GuajajaraAngela KaxuyanaNina GualingaBenki PiyakoMapu Huni Kuin, Lizardo CauperThomas LovejoyCarlos Nobre, Atossa SoltaniLeila Salazar-LópezChristina Miller, and Wade Davis

“This event is part of an extraordinary alliance of organizations and individuals dedicated to preserving the most biodiverse region on Earth,” said Sarah duPont, founder of Amazon Aid Foundation and co-director, River of Gold. “Illicit and unregulated gold mining is one of the most dangerous forms of deforestation in the Amazon Basin and releases toxic mercury into the ecosystem. Since the pandemic, gold mining has exploded across the Amazon and into indigenous territories bringing with it violence and COVID-19. Now, the Amazon is at the tipping point and the protectors of the Amazon are under dire threat. What happens in the Amazon affects us all.” 

Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director of Amazon Watch, added: “The Amazon and its peoples are in a state of emergency due to climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a crime against nature and a crime against humanity. It is a time for all to unite and act in defense of the forest and in solidarity with the indigenous and traditional peoples across the Amazon who are protecting this great rainforest and our climate for all of humanity and life on Earth.” 

Marisol Nichols Seeking a Seat on the SAG-AFTRA National Board

Life’s a SAGfor Marisol Nichols

The 45-year-old half-Mexican American actress and Riverdalestar is seeking a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as an ally of president Gabrielle Carteris through the Unite For Strength faction.

Marisol Nichols

UFS also announced earlier this week that Camryn Manheimis running for SAG-AFTRA secretary-treasurer — the third-highest elected post in the union — as part of the slate for the re-election of union president Carteris. 

Election ballots will be mailed to dues-current members on July 29 and will be tabulated on August 28. SAG-AFTRA represents about 160,000 performers.

Carteris, who has been president since 2016, is facing challenges for the post from Matthew Modineand current secretary-treasurer Jane Austin. Unite for Strength and United Screen Actors Nationwide— which have been the ruling factions at the union for the past decade with an emphasis on pragmatic policies — unveiled Manheim’s candidacy on Tuesday.

Unite For Strength also announced that Michelle Hurd, currently serving on the national board, will be running for president of the Los Angeles local; Clyde Kusatsu and Ellen Crawfordwill be running for vice president slots. Rebecca Damonis seeking re-election as New York president. Maureen DonnellyJim Kerr,Ezra Knightand Liz Zazziare seeking re-election as New York vice president as USAN, which is allied with Unite for Strength.

Membership First has not yet announced its slate other than Modine. The progressive faction has several high-profile reps on the 80-member national board including Modine, Frances FisherDiane Ladd and Martin Sheen.

Beals Joins the Cast of Matthew Modine’s “The Rocking Horsemen”

Jennifer Beals has landed a rocking role..

The 50-year-old part-Puerto Rican actress has signed on to star in Matthew Modine‘s coming-of-age film The Rocking Horsemen.

Jennifer Beals

Beals joins an all-star cast that includes Sean Astin, James Frecheville, Riley Griffiths, Jared Gilman, David Alan Grier, Miles Heizer, Eric Stoltz, Isaac White and Billy Zane.

The Rocking Horsemen follows five teenage boys on their quest to form a rock band during the summer of 1962. The teens have high hopes and are driven by a shared fear of what the future holds. When the chance to perform at their high school graduation arises, the stage is set for the band — dubbed The Rocking Horsemen — to realize their dream.

The story, written by Modine, chronicles what it’s like to be young when everything seems possible and music can transform one’s life.

Production is slated to begin in the summer.

Beals is currently working with Modine on the TV movie Proof.

Sheen to Voice Character in Animated Film “Wrinkles”

Martin Sheen is embracing his arrugas

The 72-year-old half-Spanish American Actor and former West Wing star, is lending his voice to Wrinkles, the English-language version of the Spanish animated film, which was directed by Ignacio Ferreras and based on Paco Roca’s award-winning graphic novel.

Martin Sheen

Dubbed by GKIDS, the film will be in all ingles, and available in all English-language foreign territories.

Wrinkles, which tackles a universal subject matter with humor and acerbic wit, centers on former bank manager Emilio, who is being dispatched to a retirement home by his family. His new roommate is a wily, wheeler-dealer named Miguel, who cheerfully swindles small amounts of cash from the more befuddled residents but is also full of handy insider tips that are crucial to survival.

Along with Sheen, the English voice cast includes George Coe and Matthew Modine,

Wrinkles is considered an animated movie for adult audiences. The film has garnered wide critical acclaim, multiple festival awards, and earned two Goya Awards in its home country of Spain.

The English-dubbed version of Wrinkles is set for release in early 2014.

del Castillo Lends Voice to Interactive Children’s Storybook App

Kate del Castillo has booked her latest project… And it could entertain children for hours on end.

Kate del Castillo

The 39-year-old Mexican actress and telenovela star has lent her voice to a tech-enhanced bilingual storybook app that’s based on a little-known children’s book dating back about a century.

Entitled Punky Dunk and The Gold Fish, the whimsical tale centers on the ultimate curious cat, Punky Dunk, with the book redesigned as an interactive early reader for the iPad.

Punky Dunk and the Gold Fish

Punky Dunk is a charming series of children’s tales. The artist Kat Llewellyn wanted to develop them in this unique electronic way. Her excitement and enthusiasm for telling children’s stories sold me on the project,” says actor Matthew Modine, who also lent his voice to the project. “The idea of turning these into interactive apps seemed like an exciting way to get children involved in reading, which was invaluable to me growing up.”

The storybook app was designed as part of the Punky Dunk Project, using lost literature to develop an imaginative and dynamic learning experience for young readers.

Punky Dunk App

In homage to the original book, the app has been carefully hand-drawn to reflect the illustrations and watercolors of the 1912 print edition.

To celebrate the book’s centennial, it features 101 interactive sounds and animations, expertly coded by Glow Interactive.

Punky Dunk and The Gold Fish is being released by Dumfun Productions, in association with Cinco Dedos Películas.

It’s available through the iTunes Store for iPad and the Amazon Appstore for the Kindle Fire.

First Look: Eva Mendes’ “Girl in Progress”

Eva Mendes is one bad momma in her next feature film… Literally!

The 37-year-old Cuban-American actress plays a neglectful mother in Girl in Progress, as evidenced by the recently released trailer for the film.

Eva Mendes

Mendes, who recently appeared in a hilarious Drunk History Christmas video from Funny or Die,  stars as struggling mother of a teenage daughter in a film that will undoubtedly raise questions about who is actually the parent and who is the child.

Mendes’ character seems to be in more trouble than her young daughter (played by Cierra Ramirez). She’s sleeping with a married man, falling behind on her bills and neglecting her 13-year-old daughter.

Girl in Progress Movie Poster

“A coming of age story is the story of a young person’s change from child to adult,” says a teacher in the trailer.

As Mendes’ character’s actions become more unstable and erratic, her daughter is forced to grow up and find her independence.

Girl in Progress, which also stars Eugenio Derbez, Matthew Modine and Patricia Arquette, will open in theaters on April 27.