So my family and friends surprised me last night with a birthday party dinner at the amazing @KatanaRobata of @IDGRestaurants. Thank you so much for making my birthday so special, loved the ambience and the food was incredible (❤️ the glazed the popcorn shrimp!) https://t.co/S5Mj5bJSWs

BVC Announces Trickster’s Dance by Irene Radford

Trickster's Dance by Irene RadfordTrickster’s Dance
Trance Dancer: Book 1
by Irene Radford

Devastating floods allow new Utopias to rise in isolated villages. But change, stability, and the loss of a charismatic leader leads to a crumbling of ideals. How long can a young girl thrust into the role of shaman hold together an ideal society?

The axis of the Earth changed its tilt. All the glacial and polar ice melted. Humanity was reduced to a tiny fraction of the once teeming masses.

The concussion that robbed Gabby of her memories of the Before times opened her to trance visions through dance. She dances herself to exhaustion to learn Truth. She dances to banish evil spirits, Death, and illness.

But Gabby is too young for the role of Shaman, too untrained. When strangers bring new ideas and change, she’s unable to prevent Utopia’s harmony and cooperation from cracking. Violence spreads.
The dance that gives Gabby much wisdom does not tell her how to find a murderer or how to stop a war.

The man she hopes to marry sees no options but to fight. The stranger who touched her heart in a vision must abandon her and Utopia for a greater cause.

Saving all that she loves she must do on her own.

REVIEWS:

“Radford’s considerable gifts as a mesmerizing storyteller shine with undeniable luster.” –RT Book Reviews

This action-packed plot makes for engaged and thoughtful reading.” –Kliatt

Download an Ebook Sample:

EPUB MOBI

Buy Trickster’s Dance at BVC Ebookstore

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Source: http://ift.tt/1eIlTf1

Win Chrome Industries’ Niko Camera Bags!

Win Chrome Industries’ Niko Camera Bags!




Urban settings can be just as hard on your gear as the outdoors. Enduring a range of elements, withstanding years of the daily grind, and still offering rugged functionality day in and day out is no easy task for a bag. But it’s the high standard that Chrome Industries set for their carry gear. And it’s the standard that street, action and adventure photographers have come to expect and rely on from Chrome’s Niko collection of camera bags.

Chrome Niko F-Stop Camera Backpack

So we figured, what better way to celebrate new additions to the collection than with a carry giveaway? Get the scoop below…

The Prizes

First Place

Not just one but two lucky winners will soon be proud Chrome owners. Even better, this is an international competition so all our rad readers can be in with a chance of winning.

Chrome Niko F-Stop Camera Backpack

Our first place winner will snap up a Niko F-Stop Camera Backpack. The 23L pack features a re-engineered back panel opening for convenient access to your gear. Removable, modular dividers let you easily tailor the bag to a range of carry setups, while the padded laptop compartment keeps up to 13″ devices safe on the go.

Chrome Niko F-Stop Camera Backpack

The pack is made with durable 1050D ballistic nylon and includes exterior straps to secure bulkier items such as a tripod or skateboard. All in a low-key design that looks slick on the streets and doesn’t advertise your expensive equipment.

Chrome Niko F-Stop Camera Backpack

Second Place

Our runner-up will score themselves an ace Niko Hold Camera Bag. Ideal when you’re running a smaller setup, this 7L bag can fit one DSLR, an extra lens and flash, with customizable interior dividers.

Chrome Niko Hold Camera Bag

The Niko Hold can be carried as a tote or slung over your shoulder with the removable shoulder strap. And for added versatility it’s designed to fit inside most Chrome bags, allowing you to easily convert a larger bag into a camera bag.

 

Chrome Niko Hold Camera Bag

How To Enter

  1. Submit an Instagram flatlay of your carry setup, using the hashtag #mycarryid
  2. Make sure you tag @carryology and @chromeindustries

The winners will be drawn on 5th March 2018. Good luck!

Chrome Niko Hold Camera Bag


Keen to get inspired by fellow photographers? Scope out the #streetsofchrome for unique views on the streets that photographers call home. 


Source: http://ift.tt/V67y39

Berlinale 2018: Bekmambetov’s ‘Profile’ is a Cautionary Internet Tale

Berlinale - Profile

There’s another new film this year telling a thrilling story told entirely through computer screens. This one is titled Profile, and it’s directed by Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted, Ben-Hur), who also produced the other computer screen film Search (which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and I wrote a glowing review of here). Profile tells a completely different story than Search – it’s about a journalist from London who tries to connect with an ISIS recruiter online for a story about how ISIS recruiters use the internet to lure women. Surprise, surprise, she ends up getting in way too deep and essentially falls for the same tricks and traps that the other women did. It’s a captivating thriller about technology, for sure, but it’s still a bit gimmicky and a bit manipulative, and not as good as it really could be.

Bekmambetov’s Profile is a very effective film utilizing the engaging concept of telling enthralling cinematic stories entirely through computer screens. Most of this film and the footage we get to see includes Skype phone calls and FaceTime calls, both with her editor and boyfriend, as well as with the ISIS recruiter she meets through Facebook. Irish actress Valene Kane stars as Amy, a journalist who creates a fake Facebook profile which instantly gets identified by a man from Syria who starts talking with her in an attempt to befriend her. Soon she starts chatting with him more and more, and learns about his life over there in the Middle East, and why he’s not the evil person she thought he would be. She starts falling for him, and begins to blur work and life and emotions, while her journalistic ethics and relationship fall apart in the meantime.

Despite it being very good, Timur is no Aneesh Chaganty. Chaganty’s Search is the best version of this kind of film yet, as perfect as this storytelling can be. This film takes a few shortcuts that are not authentic and a bit off-putting. The perfect song for the moment always happens to start playing as soon as she hangs up a call or clicks away from another window on her screen. This could only work in real life if she programmed some macro script to start playing music (which I highly doubt). Even then it’s still too gimmicky, especially because the song is usually an on-the-nose representation of the feelings she’s experiencing. Of course, we know where all this is leading, it’s hinted at right from the start. And it gets intense at times, mostly because the emotions are so overwhelming and she plays them so well. It’s gripping and unsettling to watch unfold.

At its core, Profile is about manipulation and coercion. It’s worth a watch just to talk about it, and figure out what exactly it’s making you think about and why. There’s a few things that hit me hard watching this, and I’ve been mulling over these ideas ever since. This film shows how good some men are at manipulation and attraction, in a frightening way, using the right stories and photos. It also shows the other side: how easy someone can be tricked into falling in love and feeling authentically attracted, so much so that they make irrational choices. It makes us consider both sides. I felt just as uncomfortable watching the ISIS recruiter as I did watching her fall for him and his tricks. In that sense, the film is about more than technology. But it’s also about how technology allows anyone to use it for their own gain, perhaps illicitly and dishonestly, and that’s scary. We can be deceptive yet believable all thanks to technology like the internet. So watch out.

Alex’s Berlinale 2018 Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Follow Alex on Twitter – @firstshowing

Source: http://ift.tt/g0Io3r

Berlinale 2018: Bekmambetov’s ‘Profile’ is a Cautionary Internet Tale

Berlinale - Profile

There’s another new film this year telling a thrilling story told entirely through computer screens. This one is titled Profile, and it’s directed by Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted, Ben-Hur), who also produced the other computer screen film Search (which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and I wrote a glowing review of here). Profile tells a completely different story than Search – it’s about a journalist from London who tries to connect with an ISIS recruiter online for a story about how ISIS recruiters use the internet to lure women. Surprise, surprise, she ends up getting in way too deep and essentially falls for the same tricks and traps that the other women did. It’s a captivating thriller about technology, for sure, but it’s still a bit gimmicky and a bit manipulative, and not as good as it really could be.

Bekmambetov’s Profile is a very effective film utilizing the engaging concept of telling enthralling cinematic stories entirely through computer screens. Most of this film and the footage we get to see includes Skype phone calls and FaceTime calls, both with her editor and boyfriend, as well as with the ISIS recruiter she meets through Facebook. Irish actress Valene Kane stars as Amy, a journalist who creates a fake Facebook profile which instantly gets identified by a man from Syria who starts talking with her in an attempt to befriend her. Soon she starts chatting with him more and more, and learns about his life over there in the Middle East, and why he’s not the evil person she thought he would be. She starts falling for him, and begins to blur work and life and emotions, while her journalistic ethics and relationship fall apart in the meantime.

Despite it being very good, Timur is no Aneesh Chaganty. Chaganty’s Search is the best version of this kind of film yet, as perfect as this storytelling can be. This film takes a few shortcuts that are not authentic and a bit off-putting. The perfect song for the moment always happens to start playing as soon as she hangs up a call or clicks away from another window on her screen. This could only work in real life if she programmed some macro script to start playing music (which I highly doubt). Even then it’s still too gimmicky, especially because the song is usually an on-the-nose representation of the feelings she’s experiencing. Of course, we know where all this is leading, it’s hinted at right from the start. And it gets intense at times, mostly because the emotions are so overwhelming and she plays them so well. It’s gripping and unsettling to watch unfold.

At its core, Profile is about manipulation and coercion. It’s worth a watch just to talk about it, and figure out what exactly it’s making you think about and why. There’s a few things that hit me hard watching this, and I’ve been mulling over these ideas ever since. This film shows how good some men are at manipulation and attraction, in a frightening way, using the right stories and photos. It also shows the other side: how easy someone can be tricked into falling in love and feeling authentically attracted, so much so that they make irrational choices. It makes us consider both sides. I felt just as uncomfortable watching the ISIS recruiter as I did watching her fall for him and his tricks. In that sense, the film is about more than technology. But it’s also about how technology allows anyone to use it for their own gain, perhaps illicitly and dishonestly, and that’s scary. We can be deceptive yet believable all thanks to technology like the internet. So watch out.

Alex’s Berlinale 2018 Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Follow Alex on Twitter – @firstshowing

Source: http://ift.tt/g0Io3r

Berlinale 2018: Bekmambetov’s ‘Profile’ is a Cautionary Internet Tale

Berlinale - Profile

There’s another new film this year telling a thrilling story told entirely through computer screens. This one is titled Profile, and it’s directed by Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted, Ben-Hur), who also produced the other computer screen film Search (which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and I wrote a glowing review of here). Profile tells a completely different story than Search – it’s about a journalist from London who tries to connect with an ISIS recruiter online for a story about how ISIS recruiters use the internet to lure women. Surprise, surprise, she ends up getting in way too deep and essentially falls for the same tricks and traps that the other women did. It’s a captivating thriller about technology, for sure, but it’s still a bit gimmicky and a bit manipulative, and not as good as it really could be.

Bekmambetov’s Profile is a very effective film utilizing the engaging concept of telling enthralling cinematic stories entirely through computer screens. Most of this film and the footage we get to see includes Skype phone calls and FaceTime calls, both with her editor and boyfriend, as well as with the ISIS recruiter she meets through Facebook. Irish actress Valene Kane stars as Amy, a journalist who creates a fake Facebook profile which instantly gets identified by a man from Syria who starts talking with her in an attempt to befriend her. Soon she starts chatting with him more and more, and learns about his life over there in the Middle East, and why he’s not the evil person she thought he would be. She starts falling for him, and begins to blur work and life and emotions, while her journalistic ethics and relationship fall apart in the meantime.

Despite it being very good, Timur is no Aneesh Chaganty. Chaganty’s Search is the best version of this kind of film yet, as perfect as this storytelling can be. This film takes a few shortcuts that are not authentic and a bit off-putting. The perfect song for the moment always happens to start playing as soon as she hangs up a call or clicks away from another window on her screen. This could only work in real life if she programmed some macro script to start playing music (which I highly doubt). Even then it’s still too gimmicky, especially because the song is usually an on-the-nose representation of the feelings she’s experiencing. Of course, we know where all this is leading, it’s hinted at right from the start. And it gets intense at times, mostly because the emotions are so overwhelming and she plays them so well. It’s gripping and unsettling to watch unfold.

At its core, Profile is about manipulation and coercion. It’s worth a watch just to talk about it, and figure out what exactly it’s making you think about and why. There’s a few things that hit me hard watching this, and I’ve been mulling over these ideas ever since. This film shows how good some men are at manipulation and attraction, in a frightening way, using the right stories and photos. It also shows the other side: how easy someone can be tricked into falling in love and feeling authentically attracted, so much so that they make irrational choices. It makes us consider both sides. I felt just as uncomfortable watching the ISIS recruiter as I did watching her fall for him and his tricks. In that sense, the film is about more than technology. But it’s also about how technology allows anyone to use it for their own gain, perhaps illicitly and dishonestly, and that’s scary. We can be deceptive yet believable all thanks to technology like the internet. So watch out.

Alex’s Berlinale 2018 Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Follow Alex on Twitter – @firstshowing

Source: http://ift.tt/g0Io3r

When Is a Superhero Movie Not Just a Movie? When it is “Black Panther.”

Thumb black panther movie characters

Sometimes a movie hits the zeitgeist and the consciousness of the public at just the right time, causing it to transcend the form of a cinematic event and emerge as a movement. In many ways, Patty Jenkins’ "Wonder Woman," released last summer, defined the fierce female warrior spirit of 2017, as countless women in the entertainment industry broke their silence to fight against harassment waged by some of the most powerful men in the business. The blockbuster quickly became the highest-grossing picture ever directed by a woman, inspiring young girls around the world to dress up as the titular superhero while accompanying their mothers to the theater. It was a beautiful sight to see.

Now arrives Ryan Coogler’s "Black Panther," a film that made back it $200 million budget in its opening weekend, breaking multiple box office records to become the highest-grossing film ever helmed by an African-American director; the biggest ever opening for a film in February; and the fifth highest Friday-Sunday debut of all time! The picture has earned raves from critics including our own Odie Henderson, who awarded it four stars. His review was as persuasive as it was achingly personal, illustrating how African-American audiences have been starved for positive images of heroic and complex characters who look like them. Coogler’s film offers a rich array of personalities embodied by some of the best actors in the business. And the importance of this movie has been noted so widely that African-American individuals and organizations around the country are voluntarily buying out screenings to allow an audience of primarily young black film-goers to savor it for free. But make no mistake about it, with opening numbers like these, "Black Panther" is also being hailed by white critics and audiences as possibly the best Marvel superhero movie ever made.

"Black Panther" fans attend special screenings at Chicago’s Studio Movie Grill.

As T’Challa (a.k.a. Black Panther), Chadwick Boseman brings a commanding screen presence that isn’t bereft of vulnerability, while Coogler’s usual leading man, Michael B. Jordan, lends enormous humanity and righteous conviction to his role of the "villain." However, one of the most talked about aspects of the film are the beautiful strong role models for girls and women starting with the regal Oscar-nominee Angela Bassett and backed up by Oscar-winner Lupita Nyongo’o, and the badass ensemble of Wakandan Special Forces, the Dora Milaje, including Danai Gurira as Okoye and Florence Kasumba as Ayo. The film’s ensemble also includes Oscar-winners Forrest Whittaker, Oscar nominee Daniel Kaluuya and Emmy-winner Sterling K. Brown, all of whom resonate as three-dimensional beings whose function in the story is not in service of a white character. As Boseman’s sister, Letitia Wright brings down the house with many of the film’s most pointedly funny lines, often aimed at the "colonizer" in her midst, played by Martin Freeman

"Black Panther" is chockfull of entertainment, excitement and inspiration for viewers of all ages and races. Yesterday, February 19th, over 300 Chicago Public Schools students got to attend free screenings of “Black Panther.” The back-to-back screenings were held at Studio Movie Grill, 210 W. 87th St., and were a collaborative effort between nonprofit Creative Cypher, a Chicago-based collective working to promote diversity in the film industry, the Black McDonald’s Operators Association (BMOA) and several other local youth organizations. Actor Craig Robinson later added to the generosity by arranging to pay for more students to attend a third screening in the afternoon. 

Students received "Black Panther" comic books at the Chicago screenings. 

"Creative Cypher focuses on providing independent filmmakers and emerging artists with access to resources and educational programming throughout the year," said Troy Pryor, founder and president of Creative Cypher, located at Stage 18, Cinespace. "In addition to events like this, we also support productions and help them get off the ground. We are able to connect the dots for filmmakers who lack the finances, and we’ve had quite a few projects win some amazing awards at festivals. These artists don’t lack talent, they lack resources. They’re often trying to do too many things at one time because they didn’t have a network that they could leverage."

Yesterday’s screenings were followed by panel discussions featuring African American entertainment professionals including "The Chi" actress Tai Davis, actor and SAG-AFTRA Chicago president Charles Andrew Gardner, Emmy-winning writer/actor Craig Harris, "Hamilton" star Jonathan Kirkland, location managers David Leonard and Natasha Parker, comic illustrator and former Marvel colorist Chris Walker and "Black Panther" stunt performer Mark Willis. Walker spoke about how moved he was, as a comic book fan, to see black culture embrace the Black Panther. He commended creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for starting a conversation about race in the 60’s with their Black Panther and X-Men comics. 

Aspiring filmmaker Kayla Sullers attends Studio Movie Grill’s "Black Panther" screenings.

"You can’t be what you can’t see, and for kids to see a film like this with a predominantly African-American cast and a regal male lead that goes against the stereotypes we’ve always seen in media is so important," said Pryor. "From a business standpoint, we wanted to do a panel so the kids could understand that there are many paths to professions in the entertainment industry. We want them to know what it can take for a project to be realized. A project like ‘Black Panther’ would’ve never happened if it weren’t for individuals of color in executive roles. For the longest time, studios have claimed that you can’t make a successful film with a black lead or a primarily black cast, and that is a myth. ‘Black Panther’ has demolished the numbers in that myth."

"As Jay-Z said, ‘Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t,’" Pryor continued. "Even if you are only about the numbers, you would be foolish to not continue in this direction. What I would hope is that people in the industry realize that there is a very important cultural significance to projects like this, and not just for African-Americans. I love that the common knowledge regarding Wakanda was that it was a very poor place. It was like the inside joke that the Wakandans had, knowing that this is what the outside world thought of them. There’s a big correlation to that in how minorities are viewed at times in the media and in the public.”

Ebert Fellow Sue-Ellen Chitunya, who worked on the movie in post production, dressed in Afro-centric garb at the premiere in LA.

Twenty youth-focused nonprofits were selected to receive tickets, including Donda’s House, Common Ground Foundation, Free Spirit Media, True Star Foundation, Free Lunch Academy, We Are MURAL, Chicago Scholars and more. Students who received the complimentary tickets were selected based upon their commitment to being both high-achieving scholars and model citizens in their communities. Pryor believes that there’s just as much for viewers to learn from Michael B. Jordan’s character, Erik Killmonger, as there is to glean from the heroism of T’Challa.

“It’s very difficult for me to call Killmonger a villain in the film, knowing his story,” said Pryor. “The takeaway for me from that is everybody has a story and a testimony. This isn’t to justify any lifestyles that some people from disenfranchised neighborhoods or communities may take on, but when you take the time to understand another person, that leads to empathy. It’s one thing if you are oblivious to another person’s existence, but if you know about them and their struggle, how can you call yourself great without lending a hand? T’Challa saw that Killmonger was a product of his environment, and that’s the story of a lot of young black males. You don’t get to hear their story, what you see instead is a byproduct of something that has festered and grown and over time expresses itself sometimes in not the most productive way. And that’s all you know.”

A young fan strikes a pose at Chicago’s Studio Movie Grill.

The move to get young people to see "Black Panther" has not been limited to the Windy City. Two teachers teamed up with a Jersey City fraternity to raise money in an online campaign that will secure tickets for local students to see the film. There have also been special student screenings held in cities such as Pittsburgh, Hampton and Atlanta, where the film was shot. And we are seeing this in city after city. The excitement surrounding an African-American superhero is profound and meaningful. Cinema was designed to be a portal for our dreams, and with "Black Panther," those dreams have become more inclusive. 

Source: http://ift.tt/2yZbehO

When Is a Superhero Movie Not Just a Movie? When it is “Black Panther.”

Thumb black panther movie characters

Sometimes a movie hits the zeitgeist and the consciousness of the public at just the right time, causing it to transcend the form of a cinematic event and emerge as a movement. In many ways, Patty Jenkins’ "Wonder Woman," released last summer, defined the fierce female warrior spirit of 2017, as countless women in the entertainment industry broke their silence to fight against harassment waged by some of the most powerful men in the business. The blockbuster quickly became the highest-grossing picture ever directed by a woman, inspiring young girls around the world to dress up as the titular superhero while accompanying their mothers to the theater. It was a beautiful sight to see.

Now arrives Ryan Coogler’s "Black Panther," a film that made back it $200 million budget in its opening weekend, breaking multiple box office records to become the highest-grossing film ever helmed by an African-American director; the biggest ever opening for a film in February; and the fifth highest Friday-Sunday debut of all time! The picture has earned raves from critics including our own Odie Henderson, who awarded it four stars. His review was as persuasive as it was achingly personal, illustrating how African-American audiences have been starved for positive images of heroic and complex characters who look like them. Coogler’s film offers a rich array of personalities embodied by some of the best actors in the business. And the importance of this movie has been noted so widely that African-American individuals and organizations around the country are voluntarily buying out screenings to allow an audience of primarily young black film-goers to savor it for free. But make no mistake about it, with opening numbers like these, "Black Panther" is also being hailed by white critics and audiences as possibly the best Marvel superhero movie ever made.

"Black Panther" fans attend special screenings at Chicago’s Studio Movie Grill.

As T’Challa (a.k.a. Black Panther), Chadwick Boseman brings a commanding screen presence that isn’t bereft of vulnerability, while Coogler’s usual leading man, Michael B. Jordan, lends enormous humanity and righteous conviction to his role of the "villain." However, one of the most talked about aspects of the film are the beautiful strong role models for girls and women starting with the regal Oscar-nominee Angela Bassett and backed up by Oscar-winner Lupita Nyongo’o, and the badass ensemble of Wakandan Special Forces, the Dora Milaje, including Danai Gurira as Okoye and Florence Kasumba as Ayo. The film’s ensemble also includes Oscar-winners Forrest Whittaker, Oscar nominee Daniel Kaluuya and Emmy-winner Sterling K. Brown, all of whom resonate as three-dimensional beings whose function in the story is not in service of a white character. As Boseman’s sister, Letitia Wright brings down the house with many of the film’s most pointedly funny lines, often aimed at the "colonizer" in her midst, played by Martin Freeman

"Black Panther" is chockfull of entertainment, excitement and inspiration for viewers of all ages and races. Yesterday, February 19th, over 300 Chicago Public Schools students got to attend free screenings of “Black Panther.” The back-to-back screenings were held at Studio Movie Grill, 210 W. 87th St., and were a collaborative effort between nonprofit Creative Cypher, a Chicago-based collective working to promote diversity in the film industry, the Black McDonald’s Operators Association (BMOA) and several other local youth organizations. Actor Craig Robinson later added to the generosity by arranging to pay for more students to attend a third screening in the afternoon. 

Students received "Black Panther" comic books at the Chicago screenings. 

"Creative Cypher focuses on providing independent filmmakers and emerging artists with access to resources and educational programming throughout the year," said Troy Pryor, founder and president of Creative Cypher, located at Stage 18, Cinespace. "In addition to events like this, we also support productions and help them get off the ground. We are able to connect the dots for filmmakers who lack the finances, and we’ve had quite a few projects win some amazing awards at festivals. These artists don’t lack talent, they lack resources. They’re often trying to do too many things at one time because they didn’t have a network that they could leverage."

Yesterday’s screenings were followed by panel discussions featuring African American entertainment professionals including "The Chi" actress Tai Davis, actor and SAG-AFTRA Chicago president Charles Andrew Gardner, Emmy-winning writer/actor Craig Harris, "Hamilton" star Jonathan Kirkland, location managers David Leonard and Natasha Parker, comic illustrator and former Marvel colorist Chris Walker and "Black Panther" stunt performer Mark Willis. Walker spoke about how moved he was, as a comic book fan, to see black culture embrace the Black Panther. He commended creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for starting a conversation about race in the 60’s with their Black Panther and X-Men comics. 

Aspiring filmmaker Kayla Sullers attends Studio Movie Grill’s "Black Panther" screenings.

"You can’t be what you can’t see, and for kids to see a film like this with a predominantly African-American cast and a regal male lead that goes against the stereotypes we’ve always seen in media is so important," said Pryor. "From a business standpoint, we wanted to do a panel so the kids could understand that there are many paths to professions in the entertainment industry. We want them to know what it can take for a project to be realized. A project like ‘Black Panther’ would’ve never happened if it weren’t for individuals of color in executive roles. For the longest time, studios have claimed that you can’t make a successful film with a black lead or a primarily black cast, and that is a myth. ‘Black Panther’ has demolished the numbers in that myth."

"As Jay-Z said, ‘Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t,’" Pryor continued. "Even if you are only about the numbers, you would be foolish to not continue in this direction. What I would hope is that people in the industry realize that there is a very important cultural significance to projects like this, and not just for African-Americans. I love that the common knowledge regarding Wakanda was that it was a very poor place. It was like the inside joke that the Wakandans had, knowing that this is what the outside world thought of them. There’s a big correlation to that in how minorities are viewed at times in the media and in the public.”

Ebert Fellow Sue-Ellen Chitunya, who worked on the movie in post production, dressed in Afro-centric garb at the premiere in LA.

Twenty youth-focused nonprofits were selected to receive tickets, including Donda’s House, Common Ground Foundation, Free Spirit Media, True Star Foundation, Free Lunch Academy, We Are MURAL, Chicago Scholars and more. Students who received the complimentary tickets were selected based upon their commitment to being both high-achieving scholars and model citizens in their communities. Pryor believes that there’s just as much for viewers to learn from Michael B. Jordan’s character, Erik Killmonger, as there is to glean from the heroism of T’Challa.

“It’s very difficult for me to call Killmonger a villain in the film, knowing his story,” said Pryor. “The takeaway for me from that is everybody has a story and a testimony. This isn’t to justify any lifestyles that some people from disenfranchised neighborhoods or communities may take on, but when you take the time to understand another person, that leads to empathy. It’s one thing if you are oblivious to another person’s existence, but if you know about them and their struggle, how can you call yourself great without lending a hand? T’Challa saw that Killmonger was a product of his environment, and that’s the story of a lot of young black males. You don’t get to hear their story, what you see instead is a byproduct of something that has festered and grown and over time expresses itself sometimes in not the most productive way. And that’s all you know.”

A young fan strikes a pose at Chicago’s Studio Movie Grill.

The move to get young people to see "Black Panther" has not been limited to the Windy City. Two teachers teamed up with a Jersey City fraternity to raise money in an online campaign that will secure tickets for local students to see the film. There have also been special student screenings held in cities such as Pittsburgh, Hampton and Atlanta, where the film was shot. And we are seeing this in city after city. The excitement surrounding an African-American superhero is profound and meaningful. Cinema was designed to be a portal for our dreams, and with "Black Panther," those dreams have become more inclusive. 

Source: http://ift.tt/2yZbehO

Boundary-setting training to be offered at Paganicon 2018

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Twin Cities Pagan Pride will host Paganicon 2018 in the Minneapolis area from Mar.16 -18. This indoor Pagan conference will have workshops, rituals, and music. Becky Munson, its programming director, emphasized its community aspects. “It’s the community coming together, teaching, and sharing.” This year will differ from past Paganicons; conference organizers will introduce a training program, “Healthy Boundaries.” This training will provide tools to navigate the power dynamics of clergy-to-laity relationships.

At Paganicon 2018, the guests of honor will include the following: author and Pagan elder Dianna Paxson; author Patty Lafayllve; and Sancista Brujo Luis from the Puerto Rican Espiritismo Criollo folkloric tradition. Musician S.J. Tucker will be performing a Mar. 16 concert. Special guests will include cult expert Chris Shelton and First Nation (Nakota-Cree) traditional teacher Daphie Pooyak.

Munson said that about 650 people attended Paganicon 2017. About an equal number of women and men attended. She did not have data about the racial composition of previous attendees. Munson did say, “We’re actively working on our cultural diversity.” According to Munson, Paganicon has attracted a good mix of Pagan traditions.

Healthy Boundaries

Members of he Faith Trust Institute have developed the training, “Healthy Boundaries.” According to Munson, the training will “teach clergy and other leaders how to recognize healthy boundaries.” It will also provide tools to create and maintain those boundaries.

Clergy, teachers, and leaders are “front of the room” people. Power dynamics permeate relationships between “front of the room” people and “other parts of the room” people. Some of these dynamics are readily visible. Others remain invisible. Munson said that, despite their best intentions, “front of the room” people could have unhealthy boundaries. They may lack awareness of how much influence they have over “other parts of the room” people. She hopes that this training would make them more aware of those dynamics.

When aware of those dynamics, “front of the room” people can use their power in a beneficial way. Munson stressed that this training would provide structured training and tools. These tools provide a way to understand power dynamics before trouble arises.

This training could benefit lay leaders and those without credentials. Munson noted, “There’s a lot of unstructured ‘structure’ in the Pagan community.” Some Pagan “front of the room” people may have no titles or appear to be just one more person in the circle. They still may have “clout,” but be unaware of their clout. For that reason, this training could benefit people besides those with formal titles and credentials.

Munson emphasized the importance of understanding the complex and different levels of harm. The training will distinguish between criminal acts and inappropriate behavior. Violations of trust may not be criminal behavior, but can still leave people damaged. In a similar way, crossing a boundary causes less damage than violating a boundary.

The training will also explore “dual relationships.” When two or more people have relationships in more than one area of life, a dual relationship occurs. For example, dating partners could also be counselor and client. Munson continued, “If you are clergy, or a teacher in a religious setting, you have a greater responsibility” to understand the risks. Confusion between the roles in dual relationships can lead to major boundary violations. That confusion can also wreck relationships.

Munson thinks most people know this intellectually, but feel that they can manage it. Many “front of the room” people overestimate their ability to navigate the complexities of dual relationships. She feels that Pagans tend to think that Pagans differ greatly from people from other spiritual traditions. She said, “We’re not that different than a lot of other spiritual communities. We face many of the same challenges and a lot of the solutions can be universal.“

The training, “Healthy boundaries,” has two levels, basic and advanced. Munson said that the organizers plan to offer only the basic version at Paganicon 2018. She will be leading the training this year. Munson would like to give both the basic and advanced levels at Paganicon 2019.

Proactive work to create awareness

According to Munson, Paganicon and Twin Cities Pagan Pride organizers have worked proactively to prevent boundary violations. She mentioned that organizers had established their safety policy in 2015 for Paganicon and Twin Cities Pagan Pride. The “Healthy Boundaries” training continues that tradition.

Munson stressed that the organizers do not want “to blame the victim, or underestimate the trauma that comes when someone you trust violates your trust,” yet organizations have a responsibility to investigate and weigh the information.

Paganicon organizers had found that many Pagan organizations were ill-prepared to deal with these types of issues. They lacked safety policies. They lacked a standard complaint process. No investigatory practice existed.

In 2017, the Wiccan Church of Minnesota found itself dealing with boundary issues. The situation left many people feeling unresolved and hurt. The Wild Hunt has previously reported on that incident.

Munson summed up the “Healthy Boundaries” training: “Our organization really believes in being at the forefront of these kinds of difficult conversations. We’ve had a safety policy since 2015. We enforce that. We host difficult conversations on a lot of different topics. We don’t shy away from that. This is an excellent step for us. “

Source: http://wildhunt.org

Boundary-setting training to be offered at Paganicon 2018

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Twin Cities Pagan Pride will host Paganicon 2018 in the Minneapolis area from Mar.16 -18. This indoor Pagan conference will have workshops, rituals, and music. Becky Munson, its programming director, emphasized its community aspects. “It’s the community coming together, teaching, and sharing.” This year will differ from past Paganicons; conference organizers will introduce a training program, “Healthy Boundaries.” This training will provide tools to navigate the power dynamics of clergy-to-laity relationships.

At Paganicon 2018, the guests of honor will include the following: author and Pagan elder Dianna Paxson; author Patty Lafayllve; and Sancista Brujo Luis from the Puerto Rican Espiritismo Criollo folkloric tradition. Musician S.J. Tucker will be performing a Mar. 16 concert. Special guests will include cult expert Chris Shelton and First Nation (Nakota-Cree) traditional teacher Daphie Pooyak.

Munson said that about 650 people attended Paganicon 2017. About an equal number of women and men attended. She did not have data about the racial composition of previous attendees. Munson did say, “We’re actively working on our cultural diversity.” According to Munson, Paganicon has attracted a good mix of Pagan traditions.

Healthy Boundaries

Members of he Faith Trust Institute have developed the training, “Healthy Boundaries.” According to Munson, the training will “teach clergy and other leaders how to recognize healthy boundaries.” It will also provide tools to create and maintain those boundaries.

Clergy, teachers, and leaders are “front of the room” people. Power dynamics permeate relationships between “front of the room” people and “other parts of the room” people. Some of these dynamics are readily visible. Others remain invisible. Munson said that, despite their best intentions, “front of the room” people could have unhealthy boundaries. They may lack awareness of how much influence they have over “other parts of the room” people. She hopes that this training would make them more aware of those dynamics.

When aware of those dynamics, “front of the room” people can use their power in a beneficial way. Munson stressed that this training would provide structured training and tools. These tools provide a way to understand power dynamics before trouble arises.

This training could benefit lay leaders and those without credentials. Munson noted, “There’s a lot of unstructured ‘structure’ in the Pagan community.” Some Pagan “front of the room” people may have no titles or appear to be just one more person in the circle. They still may have “clout,” but be unaware of their clout. For that reason, this training could benefit people besides those with formal titles and credentials.

Munson emphasized the importance of understanding the complex and different levels of harm. The training will distinguish between criminal acts and inappropriate behavior. Violations of trust may not be criminal behavior, but can still leave people damaged. In a similar way, crossing a boundary causes less damage than violating a boundary.

The training will also explore “dual relationships.” When two or more people have relationships in more than one area of life, a dual relationship occurs. For example, dating partners could also be counselor and client. Munson continued, “If you are clergy, or a teacher in a religious setting, you have a greater responsibility” to understand the risks. Confusion between the roles in dual relationships can lead to major boundary violations. That confusion can also wreck relationships.

Munson thinks most people know this intellectually, but feel that they can manage it. Many “front of the room” people overestimate their ability to navigate the complexities of dual relationships. She feels that Pagans tend to think that Pagans differ greatly from people from other spiritual traditions. She said, “We’re not that different than a lot of other spiritual communities. We face many of the same challenges and a lot of the solutions can be universal.“

The training, “Healthy boundaries,” has two levels, basic and advanced. Munson said that the organizers plan to offer only the basic version at Paganicon 2018. She will be leading the training this year. Munson would like to give both the basic and advanced levels at Paganicon 2019.

Proactive work to create awareness

According to Munson, Paganicon and Twin Cities Pagan Pride organizers have worked proactively to prevent boundary violations. She mentioned that organizers had established their safety policy in 2015 for Paganicon and Twin Cities Pagan Pride. The “Healthy Boundaries” training continues that tradition.

Munson stressed that the organizers do not want “to blame the victim, or underestimate the trauma that comes when someone you trust violates your trust,” yet organizations have a responsibility to investigate and weigh the information.

Paganicon organizers had found that many Pagan organizations were ill-prepared to deal with these types of issues. They lacked safety policies. They lacked a standard complaint process. No investigatory practice existed.

In 2017, the Wiccan Church of Minnesota found itself dealing with boundary issues. The situation left many people feeling unresolved and hurt. The Wild Hunt has previously reported on that incident.

Munson summed up the “Healthy Boundaries” training: “Our organization really believes in being at the forefront of these kinds of difficult conversations. We’ve had a safety policy since 2015. We enforce that. We host difficult conversations on a lot of different topics. We don’t shy away from that. This is an excellent step for us. “

Source: http://wildhunt.org