World-class saxophonist and touring musician Gianni Vancini has touched the hearts of audiences around the globe with his sweet and soulful sound.
Earlier this year Gianni Vancini released his sophomore solo album entitled Get Your Groove On, which garnered a huge response in both the U.S. and Italy. Pre-releasing the first single from the album, also entitled “Get Your Groove On”, Vancini knew the album would be a surefire success after the single was rated on The Smooth Jazz Network’s top 20 charts for the week of September 28, 2013.
With track listings like “Didn’t You Promise” featuring Selina Albright, and “Thinking About You” featuring American jazz musician Terry Wollman whose recent single “Mandela” spent five months on Billboard’s Top 20 reaching No. 1 on the Smooth Jazz Top 20 and No. 4 on the Billboard charts, Get Your Groove On gives audiences that mix of smooth jazz and R&B that Vancini is known for.
Accompanying Gianni Vancini’s masterful abilities on the saxophone, the album includes a long list of collaborations from internationally renowned artists like bassist Alex Al who spent the last decade as Michael Jackson’s bassist and keyboardist, guitarist Sheldon Reynolds of The Commodores and Earth, Wind, and Fire, keyboardist Greg Manning who is a three-time certified platinum producer for Universal Music Switzerland, and drummer Ricky Lawson who passed away last year and was known for his work with Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton.
Get Your Groove On serves as a testament to Gianni Vancini’s versatility as a musician with the overall album commingling elements of funk and pop alongside his classic jazz and R&B sound.
Over the course of his career, Vancini has developed a dedicated international fan following with audiences all over the world regularly turning to his music for an infusion of spark n’ step that helps them get their groove on.
While some of his most notable international performances include famous venues such as Sanremo, Italy’s Ariston Theater and Rome’s Il Gran Teatro, Gianni Vancini notes the Olympia in Paris, and the Casino Rama in Toronto, as his favorites.
“I love the Olympia for what it represents, and because it means that I am in Paris, a city I can help but love, and the Casino Rama because it has the most amazing acoustics,” explained Vancini.
The Olympia is known for showcasing the word’s top musicians, including Edith Piaf, Judy Garland, Tina Turner, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Björk, The Jackson 5, and many more household names.
One of the most captivating things about a film, or rather, a good film, is the compelling nature of its imagery. The way a single shot can effect our emotions as an audience provides cinematographers with the powerful tool to create a visual language that runs along with the film’s story.
French cinematographer Johanna Coelho falls into the group of cinematographers who are known for making films that draw viewers in with their film’s visually stimulating imagery and leaves them with an emotional experience.
Coelho explains, “Images have always been a passion for me. From an early age onward I was very interested in understanding how we can visually transmit feelings and emotions.”
What separates the best cinematographers from the mediocre is their ability to shift the mood and style of the images in a way that is cohesive to the ever-changing elements of the story— but more importantly, they need to accomplish this without the audience noticing.
If viewers become preoccupied with the images in a film to the point of overshadowing the story, then the purpose of film as a medium for expression has been lost.
This subtle balance is something that Johanna Coelho, and the rest of the world’s most renowned cinematographers, recognize and execute on a daily basis in their work.
“My job is to create images that represent the vision of the director in the film,” said Johanna Coelho. “I have to be able to interpret emotions visually and create the story’s various atmospheres in the best possible way. I like to say cinematographers are visual psychologists.”
Coelho, who is originally from France, has worked on an impressive list of projects that not only show her diversity when it comes to choosing what images strike the perfect balance in the way of what’s appropriate for contrasting genres, but also display her unparalleled abilities to propel the overall energy of the story to a place that visually impacts viewers’ on an emotional level.
As the cinematographer, also known as the director of photography, of the film Scaremonger, which debuted earlier this year, Coelho was in charge of creating a juxtaposition of imagery that had elements of both realism and fantasy. The film centers on the story of a mother worried for her son who is being bullied by the neighborhood kids.
“The director wanted to treat this social issue as a dark fairytale,” said Coelho. “I had to create this magical atmosphere for the mom’s nightmares versus a pretty realistic look for the day scenes. We created gigantic shadows representing monsters appearing on the walls, we tried to make them happen as much as we could on set, and for some of them we had to use VFX. It was very interesting to see what the limits of what we could achieve on set with the resources we had were.”
The outcome of the film serves as a testament to Johanna Coelho’s extraordinary creativity and skill as a cinematographer. The film did astonishingly well on the festival circuit where it received the awards for Best Narrative Film at the 2014 California International Shorts Festival and Best LGBT Film at the 2014 Fulbright Film Festival, as well as was an Official Selection at the IFS Film Festival, Serbia’s Cinema City Festival, Costa Rica’s International Film Festival, and the renowned Montreal World Film Festival.
A talented actor whose ease and grace on film have landed him roles in numerous productions, South Korean stud Yohan Lee proves he has what it takes to make it in the American film market.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Lee discovered his love for acting at a young age. Having starred in the films Runaway Dream, The Phone Call, Comfort Girls, Road to Utah, Clippings, With Love to this Crazy World, and many more, this hot young actor has already created quite a buzz for himself in both Korea and the United States.
In the film Runaway Dream Lee plays the leading role of Mark, a hotshot Beverly Hills real estate broker who appears to have it all, a beautiful blonde wife, a 10 million dollar home in Bel Air, luxurious cars and astronomically priced watches. Runaway Dreams shows how easy it is to have everything you want one second, and lose it all within a heartbeat’s time. The film’s climax comes when Mark unassumingly leaves his office to meet a client, but is intercepted by two ruthless criminals instead. The thieves strip him of his shiny Rolex, thousands of dollars in cash and his brand new Mercedes Benz. Mark, who is left stranded and bitter, embarks on a mission to find his assailants and bring them to justice, however, after finding his Mercedes in a pile of burned scraps he must come to terms with his broken ego and figure out how to move on with his life.
Lee is incredible in the role, which displays his ability to move through drastically different emotions as his character progresses throughout the film. Written and directed by Daniel Abreu, who is also known for the film James & Quinn, Runaway Dream was produced by Daniel Anthony Films. Yohan Lee stars alongside well-known actress Lisa Jai in the film. Jai, who is known for a long list of films and television series’ including Creed, Resident Evil, Balance of Power, Tales from the Cryptkeeper, The NeverEnding Story, and Pillars of Freedom, plays the role of Linn in the film.
A dynamic actress who’s starred in a wide range of films, Daniela Junko proves her range as an actress with each new role.
In the feature film Rough Mix, Daniela Junko stars in the dramatic role of Janelle, a rich and lonely pop star whose life is a sham. From the outside Janelle’s fans think she has it all– money, fame, beauty, and a seemingly happy marriage; but in reality the talented beauty is unimpressed by her own success. With a deep yearning for true love, the film follows Janelle into a dark despair exposing the pain and suffering that often accompanies life in the spotlight. Rough Mix, which is intended for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, shows Ms. Junko’s ability to tap into the deepest and darkest emotions with ease and realism. A surefire success, Rough Mix also stars award-winning actress Rebecca Lim who has received prestigious accolades including Actress of the Year from the 2010 Elle Awards, Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 2010 Asian Television Awards, as well as three Star Awards for Top 10 Most Popular Female Artists, and others.
While Rough Mix displays Ms. Junko’s capacity for playing characters in the throws of overwhelming heartbreak, as you can see in the last scene of the film (included at the bottom of this article), Junko’s role as Jessica in the horrifying film The Incision shows her ability to portray pure evil as well.
“The movie is about organ trafficking, and Jessica is the bait. She’s a heartless woman who attracts the victims with her pretty smile, and flirtatious attitude,” explained actress Daniela Junko. “Further proving the true depths of her evil nature, audiences see in the end of the film how children are victimized as well, with Jessica being the one to drag them in.”
In the film Big Bash Junko stars as the female counterpart of a zombie obsessed couple whose dream of killing zombies finally comes true when two creepy brain-eating fiends appear outside their apartment window. Big Bash was one of the top 25 films chosen for the Cathay Motion Picture Awards 2012, an event to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the Cathay Organisation, Singapore’s leading luxury, lifestyle and entertainment group.
Not only is Ms. Junko a multi-talented actress, she is also technically a genius! With an IQ of 135, Daniela Junko’s intelligence level places her in the top one percent of the population. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for this hot young star as she has a huge career ahead of her!
Actress Maria Patricia is slated to star in the new feature-length film Blood Punch scheduled to begin filming this October. Blood Punch is the follow up to the film Fruit Punch in which Maria Patricia stars in the quirky role of Sophie, the female counterpart of a fruit punch obsessed couple that decides to rob their neighbor of his back stock of fruit punch after suffering from a grave shortage of their own.
Written and directed by Eva Yirou He, the film Blood Punch was inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, and was created to commemorate the film’s 20-year anniversary. Blood Punch continues the story line of Fruit Punch, which begins after the couple gets home from robbing their neighbor of his fruit punch and discovers two highly dangerous and professional robbers have made them their new target.
Audiences get a chance to see Maria Patricia’s knack for the horror genre in the film Host House, which was written and directed by Lok Hwa. The film follows Marla, played by Maria Patricia, an unassuming young woman who books a room on an Air BnB-esque website while in town for a job interview. Unfortunately, Marla’s host turns out to be a psycho killer who’s out for blood turning Marla’s brief stay into a suspenseful fight for survival.
“Maria Patricia was unstoppable in the role of Marla. I was amazed by how well she brought the character I wrote to life, she was even better than I imagined,” said Host House director Lok Hwa.
Maria Patricia also starred in the film noir Avinyó 36, which was shot in Barcelona, Spain. Directed and produced by renowned Austrian artist Verena Grundhammer, Avinyó 36 follows Maria Patricia in the exciting role of Helga, a German native living in Francoist Spain during the 1950’s. Making her character even more dynamic, Helga is a single mother who provides for her three-year-old daughter by working as a professional hit-woman.
“When I arrived in Barcelona, I had not seen the script yet…. So I worked on building my character, Helga, around the clock. I spent hours discussing the role with the writer and director off set in order to bring their vision alive, and find my character’s motivations to be able to kill for a living,” said actress Maria Patricia.
“Apart from that I translated the whole script from Spanish to German on our off days because the writer only spoke Spanish, but my character and her child had a couple of scenes in German. So all in all it was a very busy shoot where I wore a lot of different hats.”
Check out actress Maria Patricia in the trailer for Avinyó 36 below.
At the young age of 21, Canadian actor Zack Peladeau, who began acting at the age of 16, has established quite a diverse portfolio of work in a short amount of time. In addition to playing leading roles in feature films and TV series’, he has been featured in numerous commercials and has also been known to perform his own stunts.
In one of his most recent projects, Peladeau stars in Guilty at 17, a Lifetime original film inspired by true events. The movie tells the story of Devon and Traci, two high school students who falsely accuse their teacher of sexual assault. When the teacher thereafter commits suicide, the girls are left to face the consequences of their lie.
Peladeau plays the role of Jay Allerson, Devon’s perhaps too-committed boyfriend. When the couple begins to fear that guilt-ridden Traci might confess, they plot to prevent her from revealing the truth, and decide that they are willing to go to any length to ensure that their secret remains safe. What remains is a suspenseful film that concludes with an ending featuring the wide range of emotion that Peladeau is able to portray in his characters.
In Guilty at 17, Peladeau works alongside actresses Erin Sanders, who stars as Traci, and Chloe Rose, who plays Devon. Sanders is widely known for her award-winning roles in Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101 and Big Time Rush. She has won six Young Artist Awards, as well has been nominated for several others for roles on the hit television dramas CSI: Miami, The Mentalist, and Mad Men. Rose is best known for her long-running role in the TV series Degrassi, as well as for her role in the ABC television series Rookie Blue.
Directed by Anthony Lefresne and written by Christine Conradt, David Decrane, and Doug Howell, Guilty at 17 aired this summer and received critical acclaim.
Peladeau is slated to star in the lead role of Bobby Browning in the upcoming film, Where Are You, Bobby Browning?, set to be released in 2015. In this production, directed by Marc A. Hutchins, the character Maddie Brooks returns to her hometown to find her high school sweetheart Bobby Browning, and perhaps find some meaning for her life.
Keep an eye out for Zack Peladeau as he continues to demonstrate his passion for acting and his talent both on screen and off.
Well-versed in both drama and action, French actor Sebastien Cipolla was born with the kind of look and talent only stars are made of.
With an international look, a seductive French accent few can resist, and the kind of undeniable sex appeal that makes the hearts’ of girls around the world melt, Sebastien Cipolla has found great success as both an actor and a model in France, Australia, Canada and the United States. Cipolla’s good looks and charismatic disposition have made him the face of commercials for well-known brands like Oakley, Porsche, EA Sports Tiger Woods PDG Tour 14, Commonwealth Bank, Call of Duty, and many more.
While his natural aesthetic appeal has made him an easy cast for international advertisements, it’s his versatility as an actor that has landed him starring roles in films like The Heart of Mind, Lost Angels, What’s in the Case?, So, You Want to be a Gangster?, Curse of the Slender Man, To Dear Mary, and many more.
Originally from Lille, France, a metropolis just north of Paris, Sebastien Cipolla’s extensive training in martial arts and motorcycle acrobatics have given him an edge over the predominant pretty boy actors of Hollywood.
“I love the rush of doing motorcycle stunts in front of crowds, it’s the same feeling I get when I’m acting out a character on stage, it’s as if I am reborn from the adrenaline of the experience,” said Cipolla.
With a tenacious dedication to his craft that is apparent in all of his work, Cipolla has proven time and time again that when it comes to acting, he truly is the whole package.
“My aim is, and has always been, to push myself out of my comfort zone… As an actor, I tend to choose characters that I feel are as far away from myself as possible, that is where I experience the most growth,” said Cipolla.
While most of her peers were learning how to draw stick figures and overcome the challenges of potty training Brazilian actress Marilia Colturato was discovering her life’s passion in the world of acting. This incredible actress, whose name and reputation are known throughout Brazil, has amassed an impressive acting repertoire which has come to include renowned theater productions, award-winning films, and hit television shows from around the world. After moving to Hollywood in 2012, Colturato began working on several films including the crime drama Mao Winters P.I., the sci-fi flick Anton, as well as Jonestown, Nat, and Living in Berlinda.
Her most recent projects include C’est La Vie which was written and directed by Ari Aster, and The Expert which will be featured in the 48-Hour Film Festival. Colturato plays the challenging role of young Judy in Arthur Lang’s The Expert which was produced by Red Ahead Productions.
The film centers on the traumatic past of Judy, a young woman who is unable to cope with adulthood after being sexually abused in her youth. Colturato takes her craft to the next level in the film as audiences see her live out one of the most difficult experiences for any human being–– the ill-fated day when Judy’s innocence is lost forever.
“The whole process of shooting The Expert was very challenging, but the more difficult it is to tap into the character, the more satisfying the experience is for me overall,” said Colturato. “It was disturbing to play a girl who had been abused by a stranger–– trying to imagine what was happening in the girl’s mind during the act, and being in a position where you have no control over what is happening to you was overwhelming to say the least. ”
The next project on this extremely talented actress’s schedule is Alain Villeneuve’s upcoming horror film Purgatory which is scheduled to begin production later this year.
Colturato also appears in the series A Girls Guide to Blacking Out alongside actor Doug Haley who is known for his roles in True Blood, Good Luck Charlie, Abducted, Heroes, Justified, as well as others. Be sure to check out Colturato in this new hit comedy which follows a group of college friends as they attempt to help their socially awkward friend overcome her inhibitions by taking her on a 30-day party bender.
Originally born in Tehran, Iran, the breathtaking actress Nazli K. Lou is a force to be reckoned with both on and off the silver screen. Her most recent film For the Birds has brought to light the traumatic and true story of a young Iranian woman named Atefeh, who was wrongly accused and put to death in a public execution. Read more about this gifted actress in our interview below!
PL: Can you tell us a little bit about the film and television projects you’ve done?
NKL: I was cast in an independent feature film called Parts of Disease where I play the wife of a potential terrorist and FBI agent who is heavily involved in an investigation.
I also starred in the film For the Birds, which has been incredibly successful on the festival circuit. The film has won several awards and was recently screened at Cannes.
PL: Can you tell us about the making of the film For the Birds, and some of the festivals it’s been to?
NKL: It was a challenge to prepare for this part, but my entire being was dedicated to perfecting this character. I play a 16-year-old girl who is getting publicly executed; not only is she a minor, but she is also innocent.
We wanted to make sure we captured the essence of the girl, so there were a lot of rehearsals and discussions that went into the character’s development. As the lead, I had a lot of one on one time with the director, which made the filming process go smoothly. On the first day of shooting I arrived on set and it was still dark outside. I will never forget the moment where I stood in front of the justice sign and the feeling that ran through my body. I knew I could not change the past, but I was thankful to have the opportunity to do this tiny act that will hopefully change the future.
Our movie won best short at Cleveland Film Festival, Spokane Film Festival, Best Female Director at both the Directors Guild of America and the World of Women Cinema in Sydney.
The film was also an Official Selection at the following Film Festivals: Cannes, Montreal, Vancouver, Sedona, Rome, Bend, New Port beach, Hollywood Reel, New Film Maker LA, Cinequest, Denmark, and the list growing each month.
PL: How did the fact that you were playing a non-fictional character affect your feelings about the role and your overall preparation for the part? (ie: were you more motivated to bring the trauma and truth of the character’s experience to life etc.)
NKL: I wanted to portray this character in a way where the audience could feel the every emotion that was going through this child who was wrongly accused of crimes against chastity and was executed with no chance of having legal representation nor her family informed of her sentencing. Yes, it did affect my feelings and made me more determined to make sure I delivered the message.
PL: How do you feel about the finished product of For the Birds?
NKL: I am very pleased. As you can imagine, just like any other project, we had complications during shooting the movie. However, I can’t stress enough how much all the cast and crew did to make this movie happen. It was almost like the purpose of this movie was pulling us all together to give our 100%. Of course the response we have had so far speaks for itself.
PL: Can you tell our audience a little more about the film Parts of Disease, and how you prepared for the role?
NKL: Four Graduate students travel to various sites of US terrorism for a school project. After one of them disappeared, and was discovered to be linked to people on the terrorist watch list, there is suspicion that he may have been plotting a terrorist attack of his own.
I had to create the character of Kalila who is a Middle Eastern woman married to a potential terrorist and also an undercover FBI agent. Obviously she is torn between decisions and plays a very significant role in how the story evolves.
PL: Your roles in theses films are very different, what made you choose to participate in them?
NKL: When I auditioned for the film For the Birds I was very touched by the story. I felt like it was my obligation and duty as an Iranian woman to use my skills to bring the story to the attention of the world and raise awareness about child executions, which are still happening in many countries around the globe today. What better way to bring such horrific act to the attention of people than through the power of film.
PL: You get approached all the time to work on projects with people, what makes you pick one role over another?
NKL: Its important to me who I work with, and what message I am conveying.
PL: What do you feel has been the most important role of your career?
NKL: My part in For the Birds, because of the film’s message, as well as the amazing cast and crew. Everybody involved in this project did an excellent job and I believe that we were all touched by the story and that is what brought us together.
PL: As for genre, what is your favorite? (Comedy, Drama, Horror, etc.)
NKL: I am open to all genres, however I have been involved in dramas mostly. I was recently selected out of approximately 600 people to be a part of the Persian version of SNL. So I am very excited about that. I am too scared to watch horror movies, but I would love to be in one. Maybe after a part in a horror movie my fear of watching them will disappear too.
PL: What projects do you have coming up?
NKL: My SNL Persian comedy that will be broadcast internationally on a weekly basis.
PL: Can you tell me a little more about the show? Has the name been announced, and will you be a regular star?
NKL: We are at the early stages of creating this show. Very similar to SNL style, so we will have skits and involve current affairs in our work. Yes I will be a regular and am very excited to explore comedy.
PL: What do you hope to achieve in your career as an actress?
NKL: Difficult question. Basically to do the best I possibly can. I think for any job or career to succeed you must deliver your best efforts and fight your battles. It is important to me to be part of projects that make a difference, whether they aim to raise awareness or serve as entertainment.
PL: Why did you choose this profession?
NKL: I love the fact that I can tell a story and bring a character to life.
If you live in Los Angeles and are a connoisseur of the theater then you’ve probably seen Swedish actor Linus Ekman starring in a series of recent stage productions that include Seminar, Glengarry Glen Ross and Hurlyburly.
While still living in Sweden, Linus was a part of the renowned improv group Rattle with which he toured for several years. An original member of the group, Linus is known for his spot-on comedic timing, a feature that led the group to win the title of Sweden’s Best Improv Theater in 2011 during the Battle Royal competition.
A multi-talented actor whose strengths extend far beyond comedy, Linus has played leading roles in several films including that of Jesper in the Swedish hit Unruly (Banga inte) written and directed by Fanni Metelius.
Set in Gothenburg circa 1999, the plot centers around three girls during the summer transition between middle and high school with the leader of the trio being Mickan, played by Linnea Cart-Lamy who is known throughout Europe for her role in Ruben Östlund’s De ofrivilliga (Involuntary), as well as other projects. The film follows the girls who, in the midst of drinking, partying, and flirting, try to figure out what it is they really want from life. Linus’s character Jesper is the antagonist of the film and the character responsible for the film’s conflict.
The incredibly demanding role required Linus, who is as sweet and innocent as he looks, to transition in to a show no mercy school ground bully, something he accomplished to the ‘T’. After Jesper disrespects one of Mickan’s friends, the young woman filled with teenage angst and the desire to stand up for something, attempts to force Jesper to apologize, a move which ultimately leads to the eruption of the film’s infamous fight scene. Executed perfectly, the scene was like an excerpt from Fight Club with Linus being the antagonistic Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt).
In Swedish Film magazine Metelius recalls her initial thoughts on what would she thought would be the most challenging part of the film; “Beforehand I thought it would be the sex scene, but it turned out to be the fight because so many people were involved. We worked on it for 20 hours. I was ill and had lost my voice. And it was especially hard on the actors, because the water was so cold…”
An incredible look at the challenges of growing up and fitting in, it is no wonder that Unruly won a special mention at the 2011 Uppsala International Short Film Festival, especially with its all-star cast being led by Linus Ekman and Linnea Cart-Lamy.
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