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George Clooney and More Stars Match the Rock’s $1 Million SAG Donation on August 2, 2023 at 8:42 pm Us Weekly

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George Clooney, Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and Dwayne Johnson Shutterstock (4)

More Hollywood A-listers are matching Dwayne The Rock” Johnson’s $1 million donation to the SAG-AFTRA fund, more Hollywood A-listers are following suit. 

“The entertainment industry is in crisis and the SAG-AFTRA Foundation is currently processing more than 30 times our usual number of applications for emergency aid. We received 400 applications in the last week alone,”  SAG-AFTRA Foundation president Courtney B. Vance told Variety in a Wednesday, August 2, statement about the nonprofit’s successful fundraising efforts. “It’s a massive challenge, but we’re determined to meet this moment.”

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Since the actors’ guild officially went on strike last month, the SAG Foundation has raised more than $15 million for its emergency financial assistance program — greatly in part to some of Hollywood’s top-earning actors. Among those who have donated are George and Amal Clooney, Luciana Barroso and Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, Julia Roberts, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Meryl Streep

Celebrities are following in the footsteps of Johnson, 51, who recently contributed a seven-figure amount to the organization, which can deliver grants of up to $1,500 per member. (In other cases, a lifetime union member could receive up to $6,000 in emergency assistance if in serious jeopardy.) At the time, the foundation’s executive director, Cyd Wilson, told Variety that Johnson’s donation was the “largest single donation” the organization has ever received from one person. 

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Celebrities Who’ve Joined the SAG-AFTRA Strike Picket Lines

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“I appealed to our community to remember how tough it was coming up, and the response to help their fellow performers has been incredible, immediate and heartwarming,” Vance continued in his statement on Wednesday, noting that Johnson, 51, “helped kick-start this campaign.” He also gave thanks to Streep, 74, and George, 62, who “stepped up with $1 million donations, emails and many calls-to-action rallying others to give generously.”

Vance announced that thanks to the latest donations, the SAG Foundation has “crushed our initial goal” — but the work still isn’t done. “Our fundraising will continue in order to meet the overwhelming needs of our community now and in the future,” he concluded. 

“I remember my days as a waiter, cleaner, typist, even my time on the unemployment line,” Streep told Variety on Wednesday, detailing why it’s important for her to give back. “In this strike action, I am lucky to be able to support those who will struggle in a long action to sustain against Goliath. We will stand strong together against these powerful corporations who are bent on taking the humanity, the human dignity, even the human out of our profession. I am proudest of my fellow actors who have immediately offered to fund the Emergency Financial Assistance Program.”

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George, for his part, released his own statement on July 13 before the strike began. “We stand ready to get back to the table and make a fair deal with the AMPTP,” he said. “Until then, I’m proud to be able to support the SAG-AFTRA Foundation and my fellow actors who may be struggling in this historic moment. We’ve stood on the shoulders of the likes of Bette Davis and Jimmy Cagney and it’s time for our generation to give something back.”

He thanked Vance in particular for “his determination in putting this effort together by shedding light on the human toll happening right now, and how we can work together to alleviate some of the pain and suffering” from those currently struggling without work.

The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has been on strike since July 14 over an ongoing dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The guild’s issues are regarding fairer wages, streaming residuals, artificial intelligence and other topics that could not be agreed upon by the AMPTP when drawing up a new contract. 

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Every Cast Reunion at SAG-AFTRA Picket Line

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SAG members took to the picket lines two months after the Writers Guild of America (WGA) went on its own strike over similar disputes with the AMPTP. It marks the first time that both the actors and writers unions have been on strike together since 1960. 

Beyond large donations, many celebrities have found their own ways to show their solidarity for both strikes, by either picketing outside New York City and Los Angeles-based studios or getting candid about their experiences in the industry. 

Mandy Moore, who starred as Rebecca Pearson for six seasons on the critically acclaimed show This Is Us, explained during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last month that actors could be surviving on residuals between projects if they are paid fairly — but that’s not typically the case. 

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“We’re in incredibly fortunate positions as working actors having been on shows that found tremendous success in one way or another … but many actors in our position for years before us were able to live off of residuals or at least pay their bills,” she told the outlet, adding that she received “very tiny, like, 81-cent checks” for streaming residuals for the NBC hit. 

1st TV Shows Impacted by 2023 Writers Guild of America Strike

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Robert Carradine, who starred on Lizzie McGuire alongside Hilary Duff, brought his own receipts in support of the strike, sharing a photo via Instagram last week that revealed he earned “$0.00” in residuals for the show in August 2019, despite the entire series being available to stream on Disney+

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More Hollywood A-listers are matching Dwayne The Rock” Johnson’s $1 million donation to the SAG-AFTRA fund, more Hollywood A-listers are following suit.  “The entertainment industry is in crisis and the SAG-AFTRA Foundation is currently processing more than 30 times our usual number of applications for emergency aid. We received 400 applications in the last week 

​   Us Weekly Read More 

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Rosie Maddox: Rom-Com Wins with Best Screenplay!

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Get ready to applaud because Rosie Maddox, the creative genius behind “Wishing on Stars,” is making waves with her latest triumph as the winner of the Best Romantic Comedy Screenplay Award! Her captivating storytelling has earned her a well-deserved spotlight at the Houston Comedy Film Festival, where her heartwarming screenplay stole hearts and tickled funny bones.

From the bustling streets of Washington to the vibrant cityscape of Seattle, Rosie’s narrative prowess shines as she crafts a tale of serendipitous reunions and unexpected love. With “Wishing on Stars,” Rosie invites audiences on an enchanting journey of rediscovery, friendship, and the magic of second chances.

This isn’t just any rom-com—it’s a testament to Rosie’s innate ability to infuse depth and authenticity into her characters, making them leap off the page and into our hearts. As we eagerly await the cinematic adaptation of “Wishing on Stars,” Rosie continues to captivate audiences with her unique brand of storytelling, proving that she’s a force to be reckoned with in the world of film.

Join us in celebrating Rosie Maddox’s remarkable achievement and stay tuned for more updates as she continues to enchant us with her magical tales of laughter, love, and the endless possibilities of the human heart. Congratulations, Rosie—you’ve truly earned your place among the stars!

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Please feel free to check out on online store here.

 

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Shoutout to our sponsor Travis Whitbeck from Roots & Spores. Check out their instagram follow and support here.

Roots & Spores Coffee Owner Travis Whitbeck

From the Film Festival Circuit Founder, Mikal Fair:

“Explore the ‘Film Festival Submitter’s Handbook 2024,’ your ultimate guide to conquering the film festival circuit. Whether you’re a filmmaker or screenwriter, this essential resource provides practical strategies to navigate the competitive landscape of film festivals successfully. From crafting compelling titles, taglines, and synopses to creating impactful director’s and writer’s statements, this handbook equips you with the tools to shine in the festival circuit. Learn to develop effective marketing materials, including posters and trailers, and discover the importance of communication and presenting a professional package. With insights tailored to the evolving role of social media and marketing in the film industry, this handbook is your key to festival triumph. Get your copy now and embark on your journey to festival success!”

 

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“Changing Spots”: A Heartwarming Family Journey

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In “Changing Spots,” Lauren L. Owen masterfully weaves a heartwarming tale centered around Lizzie Jennings, a black anthropology student in her mid-30s, and her aging father, Walter. As Walter grapples with the challenges of living independently for the first time, Lizzie steps in to assist him, embarking on a dual mission to help her father become self-sustainable while documenting their progress for her thesis. Through candid interviews and her own camera footage, the story unfolds in a captivating mockumentary style, offering a glimpse into the tender moments and humorous mishaps that define their journey.

Owen, a trailblazing talent in the industry and the first Black or African American graduate of NYU’s MBA/MFA dual master’s degree program, brings her unique perspective to “Changing Spots.” With a remarkable background in producing, writing, and directing, including collaborations with acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee and notable projects like “BlacKkKlansman” and “See You Yesterday,” Owen’s work is deeply rooted in promoting diversity both on and off the screen. Through her storytelling, she celebrates the bond between black women and their fathers, shedding light on the often overlooked narratives that resonate with audiences on a profound level.

Fun fact: Lauren Owen is also an Associate Producer for the Netflix Original Film, “See You Yesterday,” further showcasing her versatility and impact in the industry.

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As Owen shares her personal connection to the story, drawing inspiration from her own experiences and her playful sense of humor inherited from her father, she invites viewers to embrace the complexities of familial relationships and the importance of staying connected despite life’s challenges. “Changing Spots” serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring power of love, laughter, and shared moments, resonating with audiences of all backgrounds and generations.

Moreover, Owen’s exceptional talent as a writer shines through as she clinched the prestigious Best Comedy Short Screenplay Award at the Houston Comedy Film Festival, further cementing her status as a rising star in the industry. This accolade not only recognizes Owen’s remarkable storytelling skills but also underscores the universal appeal and relatability of “Changing Spots.” As audiences continue to embrace this heartwarming tale, Owen’s win serves as a testament to the enduring impact of stories that celebrate the beauty of family bonds and the journey of self-discovery.

Please feel free to check out on online store here.

From the Film Festival Circuit Founder, Mikal Fair:

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Explore the ‘Film Festival Submitter’s Handbook 2024,’ your ultimate guide to conquering the film festival circuit. Whether you’re a filmmaker or screenwriter, this essential resource provides practical strategies to navigate the competitive landscape of film festivals successfully. From crafting compelling titles, taglines, and synopses to creating impactful director’s and writer’s statements, this handbook equips you with the tools to shine in the festival circuit. Learn to develop effective marketing materials, including posters and trailers, and discover the importance of communication and presenting a professional package. With insights tailored to the evolving role of social media and marketing in the film industry, this handbook is your key to festival triumph. Get your copy now and embark on your journey to festival success!

 

Shoutout to our sponsor Travis Whitbeck from Roots & Spores. Check out their instagram follow and support here.

Roots & Spores Coffee Owner Travis Whitbeck

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“A Messy Divorce” Named Finalist for Best Dark Comedy Film Award

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Award Winning Filmmaker, Phil Grishayev

Phil Grishayev, a talented filmmaker based in Los Angeles, is making waves in the comedy film scene with his uproarious short film, “A Messy Divorce.” Born and raised in Poland, Grishayev relocated to the United States in his early twenties, where his passion for storytelling and visual arts blossomed. Despite being relatively new to directing and producing, Grishayev’s creative vision and dedication have propelled him into the spotlight of the entertainment industry.

“A Messy Divorce” is not only Grishayev’s directorial debut but also a testament to his ability to breathe life into captivating narratives. The film, originally conceived as a screenplay by Grishayev’s friend Lenar Kamalov, follows the misadventures of a newly divorced couple who accidentally run over a man on the road and hilariously attempt to cover up their tracks. With its clever twists and comedic timing, “A Messy Divorce” has earned critical acclaim and audience praise alike.

Despite its humble beginnings, “A Messy Divorce” has already achieved notable success in the film festival circuit. Grishayev’s screenplay won a prestigious award at SWN, and the film was selected as an Official Entry at the Houston Comedy Festival in 2021. Now, as a finalist for the Best Dark Comedy Film Award at the esteemed Houston Comedy Film Festival, “A Messy Divorce” continues to captivate audiences with its unique blend of humor and wit.

Looking ahead, Grishayev has ambitious plans to expand “A Messy Divorce” into a full-length feature film, showcasing his commitment to storytelling and filmmaking. With his innovative approach and creative flair, Grishayev is poised to make a lasting impact on the comedy genre and beyond.

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As the anticipation builds for the Houston Comedy Film Festival, all eyes are on Phil Grishayev and “A Messy Divorce,” eagerly awaiting the announcement of the winners. In the meantime, audiences can experience the comedic brilliance of Grishayev’s work and witness the rise of a promising filmmaker in the entertainment industry.

He is an incredible Experiential Designer for major Paramount movie premiere sets with films apart of the Barbie franchise and Batman. Check him out here. grishayev.com

Award Winning Filmmaker, Phil Grishayev, and Hollywood Executive Producer and Houston Comedy Film Festival Director, Roselyn Omaka

From the Film Festival Circuit Founder, Mikal Fair:

Explore the ‘Film Festival Submitter’s Handbook 2024,’ your ultimate guide to conquering the film festival circuit. Whether you’re a filmmaker or screenwriter, this essential resource provides practical strategies to navigate the competitive landscape of film festivals successfully. From crafting compelling titles, taglines, and synopses to creating impactful director’s and writer’s statements, this handbook equips you with the tools to shine in the festival circuit. Learn to develop effective marketing materials, including posters and trailers, and discover the importance of communication and presenting a professional package. With insights tailored to the evolving role of social media and marketing in the film industry, this handbook is your key to festival triumph. Get your copy now and embark on your journey to festival success!

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