Local filmmaker brings religion and gays together in Lakeland

By : Christina Diaz
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LAKELAND – A member of a predominantly red city is making a name for himself in the LGBTQ community.

Lakeland resident Kevin O’Brien is a writer and director of a new film called At the End of the Day.

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Screened Out – Fences

By : Stephen Miller
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Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen Henderson

If we’re to believe his stories, Troy Maxson could’ve been one of the greatest American baseball players ever. Unfortunately, he was born to early, and he had to play the Negro League, while white players stirred people’s praise. Sports segregation laws stole Troy’s glory from him.

By the 1950s, Troy is an old, bitter Pittsburg garbage man. So, he can only watch as younger men capture fame and break down racial bias. Sure, Troy has a dutiful wife, a loyal best friend, and a son who only wants his father’s approval and love.

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New doc honors owner of legendary gay bar

By : Brian T. Carney of the Washington Blade, courtesy of National Gay Media Association
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The title character in “Jewel’s Catch One” is Jewel Thais-Williams and “Catch One” is the Catch One Disco, the world-famous club she ran from 1973-2015.

During the economic downturn in 1972, Jewel started to look for a recession-proof business opportunity. She noticed that the bar across the street from her failing dress shop was for sale. Although she faced serious obstacles (her lack of bartending experience, an all-white male clientele and a California law that banned women from tending bar), Jewel raised the money she needed to buy the club.

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‘Daughters of the Dust’ gets 25th anniversary release

By : Brian T. Carney of the Washington Blade, courtesy of National Gay Media Association
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Timing is everything. Just ask Tim Lanza, vice president and archivist of the Cohen Film Collection. Last spring, he and his team were working on the restoration of Julie Dash’s ground-breaking 1991 film “Daughters of the Dust” for its 25th anniversary.

Then Beyoncé suddenly dropped her visual album “Lemonade,” which included many visual references to Dash’s groundbreaking film, and interest in the restoration project soared. The anticipated home video release grew into a limited theatrical release, the first since the film premiered in theaters in 1992.

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In emotional speech, Streep renews harsh criticism of Trump

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – In an emotional speech by turns tearful, defiant and humorous, Meryl Streep doubled down on her harsh criticism of President Donald Trump, and spoke of having become a target since she first took him on in her Golden Globes speech in January.

Addressing a cheering audience at a fundraising gala for the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT group, Streep referred to Trump’s tweet after her Globes speech, in which he called the celebrated actress “overrated.”

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Screened Out – Hacksaw Ridge

By : Stephen Miller
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Andrew Garfield, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington

Continuing my coverage of the Oscar-nominated…

Let us forget for a moment that director Mel Gibson hates “Jews” and other minorities. Let’s talk about his oeuvre as a whole. Wow, Mel sure LOVES his violent films where one moral person stands against prevailing culture. Braveheart, Apocalypto, and especially The Passion of the Christ – all thoroughly bloody and with a martyr as the hero.

Hacksaw Ridge continues that. In fact, this might be the bloodiest, goriest WWII ever made (putting the first minute of Saving Private Ryan to shame). And yet right in the center is an unflappable hero standing up against the world for what he believes in.

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Clive Davis documentary to open Tribeca Film Festival

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – The 16th Tribeca Film Festival will kick off with a night honoring legendary music producer Clive Davis.

The New York festival announced Feb. 2 that its opening film will be the documentary Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives. The April 19 premiere at Radio City Music Hall will be followed by a concert featuring some of the artists he signed: Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson and Earth, Wind & Fire.

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Tampa Bay Times, ‘Love Is Love’ comic among GLAAD Media Award nominees

By : Staff & Wire Reports
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LOS ANGELES (AP) – GLAAD announced the 2017 Media Award nominees Jan. 31, and the list includes local and national projects done in the aftermath of the Pulse shooting.

“Worthy of Survival,” Kathleen McGrory’s Tampa Bay Times story on survivor Angel Santiago and Love Is Love, the IDW Publishing and DC Comics’ graphic novel tribute to the 49 victims, were among the nominees.

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Lily Tomlin accepts SAG Life Achievement Award with humor

By : Wire Report
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LOS ANGELES (AP) – Lily Tomlin offered advice to young actors and a hearty dose of humor as she accepted the Screen Actors Guild’s Life Achievement Award.

“Don’t leave the house when you’re drunk,” she said to riotous laughter from her fellow actors at the Shrine Auditorium.

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Screened Out – Moonlight

By : Stephen Miller
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Alex R. Hibbert, Naomi Harris, Mahershala Ali, Janelle Monaé, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Trevante Rhodes

The small and gritty Moonlight is a film that every LGBT and ally should see. Because it’s an eye-opener. This movie utilizes three periods in a life to tell the story of a poor, young, black man trying to negotiate his sexuality in the drug-infested streets of Miami. Because of this, Moonlight is that gorgeous type of film that shows us the universal struggles by being very specific to its characters, their lives, and their personal battles.

Everything is suffused with a painful sense of realism.

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Screened Out – Manchester by the Sea

By : Stephen Miller
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Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges, Kyle Chandler, C.J. Wilson

It’s an extraordinarily rare gift when a film is so beautifully, so honestly acted. Tragic things may happen – and a heaping lot of tragedy strikes Manchester by the Sea. Yet the film fills us with joy.

We watch damaged humans do silly and honest things. And then we say to ourselves, “Ah, yes, that’s exactly what would happen.”

There’s no doubt that Manchester deserves its Oscar nominations for picture, director, writer, actor, supporting actor, and supporting actress.

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‘La La Land,’ ‘Moonlight’ lead diverse 2017 Oscar nominations

By : Felicia Roopchand
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La La Land dominated the 2017 Academy Award nominees with a total of 14 nominations, tying Titanic and All About Eve for most nominations in Oscar history.

Both Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone helped tally up the nominations for the film, each respectively up for “Best Actor in a Leading Role” and “Best Actress in a Leading Role.”

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