Here’s a poster for 99 Homes. The indie drama, which stars Michael Shannon, Andrew Garfield and Laura Dern, is slated for a September 25 theatrical release.

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Sage Summit 2015 is Rolling In New Orleans Now

by Lauren Kornick on July 29, 2015

150415164416-new-orleans-biz-guide--morial-convention-center-super-169This week New Orleans is playing host to the Sage Summit Conference in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The conference, occurring annually for over forty years, fuels aspiring entrepreneurs and organizations across the country. Each day, the event provides open-floor interactions and group sessions that allow aspiring businesses to connect with different sponsors and leaders.

On July 28th, Sage CEO Stephen Kelly, General Colin L. Powell and Deepak Chopra will provide the keynote address concerning operating in our changing world. Stephen Kelly acts as Chief Executive Officer for Sage as well as a leader for many other tech companies, providing assistance to smaller and medium-sized businesses. General Powell’s leadership credentials are almost unparalleled, holding multiple roles in service and leadership, including acting as Secretary of State, army general and Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as accumulating many awards for his military service. Deepak Chopra, founder of the Chopra foundation and champion for human enlightenment, has written over eighty books, many focusing on innovative perceptions on the world and in spiritual leadership.

On July 29th, the convention presents two conversations, entitled “The Youtube Generation” and “Down but Not Out,” focusing on topics such as how implementing technology and content can build brands and how three women, through perseverance and education, could carve their way into the business world. For “The Youtube Generation,” Youtube co-founder Chad Hurley provides insight into how to manage content and technology as well as oversee a company in an ever-changing world. For “Down but Not Out,” Jane Seymour, Baroness Karren Brady and Brandi Temple provide their personal stories of growth and success as women in business. Jane Seymour, an award-winning actress, has experience in multiple fields, including founding and running many art galleries and supporting philanthropic foundations, including the The Open Hearts Foundation. Baroness Karren Brady, leader, CEO, and ambassador, is notable in becoming the first woman to manage a football team in the top flight of English football as well as the youngest managing director of a UK plc. Brandi Temple, founder and CEO of Lolly Wolly Doodle, notably uses innovative social platforms to promote sales in children’s clothing.
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On July 30th, the convention presents two more special guest conversations, entitled, “Stay Hungry. Stay foolish,” and “Finding Your Fan Base,” focusing on innovation and leveraging a customer base respectively. “Stay Hungry. Stay foolish.” includes William A. McDonough, Bre Pettis, and Dolly Singh sharing their different experiences in innovation from their respective industries. William A. McDonough, leader of McDonough Innovation, provides notable sustainability and innovation advice to businesses and organizations, including his own foundations the Make It Right Foundation and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. Bre Pettis, Chief innovation officer of Bold Machines and cofounder of MakerBot, works in providing DIY advice and innovative solutions to future problems for individuals and organizations, winning several awards and notoriety (including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal) for his DIY movement. Dolly Singh, Founder and CEO of Thesis Couture, has experience in bringing together experts for innovative projects, including creating the world’s first high‐performance + high fashion, high heels.

“Finding Your Fan Base” involves Matthew Weiner, Trevor Noah, and Tony Hawk discussing their paths of leveraging their fan bases in the entertainment business world. Matthew Weiner, creator of Mad Men, successfully created and sustained a critically-acclaimed series that notably won four consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series, while continuously working on his own writing and directing career. Trevor Noah, comedian and new host of The Daily Show, successfully used his background and experiences to grow his audience around Africa and, eventually, the entire world. Tony Hawk, entrepreneur and professional skateboarder, used his professional talents and connections to support the skateboarding industry, including starting new skateboarding companies, video games, and donation foundations.

Through its notable speakers and excellent opportunities, the Sage Summit 2015 seeks to help business owners and organizations succeed in the coming future. Using flourishing and sustaining examples, the conference provides individuals and organizations with the answers that they need to future business or sustainability problems. With the advice from the Sage Summit 2015, attendees can use the lessons on leadership, innovation, and maintenance to survive the ever-changing business world of tomorrow.

Find out more at sagesummit.com.

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LINEUP: Toronto International Film Festival 2015

by Arthur Vandelay on July 29, 2015

NE1X91StsfTQ4a_1_bThe lineup for TIFF 2015 has been announced! Opening the fest will be Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallée’s film Demolition. Toronto will also feature the world premiere of Jay Roach’s Trumbo, the New Orleans-shot film that stars Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston as the titular writer, who was famously blacklisted for refusing to out communists in Hollywood in 1947. Trumbo was himself a member of the Communist Party.

OPENING NIGHT
Demolition, Jean-Marc Vallée, USA (World Premiere)

In Demolition, a successful investment banker, Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal), struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. Despite pressure from his father-in-law (Chris Cooper) to pull it together, Davis continues to unravel. What starts as a complaint letter to a vending machine company turns into a series of letters revealing startling personal admissions. Davis’ letters catch the attention of customer service rep Karen (Naomi Watts) and, amidst emotional and financial burdens of her own, the two strangers form an unlikely connection. With the help of Karen and her son (Judah Lewis), Davis starts to rebuild, beginning with the demolition of the life he once knew.

GALAS
Beeba Boys, Deepa Mehta, Canada (World Premiere)

An adrenaline-charged violent Indo-Canadian gang war mixes guns, bhangra beats, bespoke suits, cocaine, and betrayal. Gang boss Jeet Johar and his loyal, young crew are audaciously taking over the Vancouver drug and arms scene from an old-style crime syndicate. Hearts are broken and family bonds shattered when the Beeba Boys (known as the “nice boys”) do anything “to be seen and to be feared” — in a white world.

The Dressmaker, Jocelyn Moorhouse, Australia (World Premiere)

Based on the best-selling novel by Rosalie Ham, The Dressmaker is a bittersweet, comedy-drama set in early 1950s Australia. After many years working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, Tilly Dunnage, a beautiful and talented misfit, returns home to the tiny middle-of-nowhere town of Dungatar to right the wrongs of the past. Not only does she reconcile with her ailing, eccentric mother Molly, and unexpectedly falls in love with the pure-hearted Teddy, but armed with her sewing machine and incredible sense of style, Tilly sets out to right the wrongs of the past and transforms the women of the town but encounters unexpected romance along the way. Starring Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Judy Davis and Hugo Weaving.

Eye in the Sky, Gavin Hood, United Kingdom (World Premiere)

London-based military intelligence officer Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) is remotely commanding a top secret drone operation to capture a group of dangerous terrorists at their safe-house in Nairobi, Kenya. The mission suddenly escalates from a capture to a kill operation, when Powell realizes that the terrorists are about to embark on a deadly suicide mission. American drone pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) is poised to destroy the safe-house when a nine-year-old-girl enters the kill zone just outside the walls of the house. With unforeseen collateral damage now entering the equation, the impossible decision of when to strike gets passed up the kill chain of politicians and lawyers as the seconds tick down. Also stars Alan Rickman, Barkhad Abdi and Iain Glen.

Forsaken, Jon Cassar, Canada (World Premiere)

Tormented by a dark secret, an aging gunfighter abandons a life of killing and returns home, only to discover his mother has died. He’s forced to confront his estranged father and the life he left behind. Starring Donald Sutherland, Kiefer Sutherland and Demi Moore.

Freeheld, Peter Sollett, USA (World Premiere)

Based on the Oscar-winning documentary and adapted by the writer of Philadelphia, Freeheld is the true love story of Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree and their fight for justice. A decorated New Jersey police detective, Laurel is diagnosed with cancer and wants to leave her hard-earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie. However the county officials — the Freeholders — conspire to prevent Laurel from doing so. Hard-nosed detective Dane Wells and activist Steven Goldstein come together in Laurel and Stacie’s defense, rallying police officers and ordinary citizens to support their struggle for equality. Starring Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Michael Shannon and Steve Carell.

Hyena Road (Hyena Road: Le Chemin du Combat), Paul Gross, Canada (World Premiere)

A sniper who has never allowed himself to think of his targets as humans becomes implicated in the life of one such target. An intelligence officer who has never contemplated killing becomes the engine of a plot to kill. And a legendary Mujahideen warrior who had put war behind him is now the centre of the battle zone. Three men, three worlds, three conflicts — all stand at the intersection of modern warfare, a murky world of fluid morality in which all is not as it seems.

Legend, Brian Helgeland, United Kingdom (International Premiere)

The true story of the rise and fall of London’s most notorious gangsters, brothers Reggie and Ron Kray, both portrayed by Tom Hardy in an amazing double performance. LEGEND is a classic crime thriller that takes audiences into the secret history of the 1960s and the extraordinary events that secured the infamy of the Kray twins.

Lolo, Julie Delpy, France (North American Premiere)

While on holiday in the south of France, Parisian sophisticate Violette falls in love with carefree geek Jean-René. As their relationship blossoms, Jean-René heads to Paris to spend more time with Violette but finds himself up against her possessive teenage son Lolo who is determined to sabotage their relationship by any means necessary. A razor-sharp comedy from Julie Delpy.

The Man Who Knew Infinity, Matthew Brown, United Kingdom (World Premiere)

A true story of friendship that forever changed mathematics. In 1913, Ramanujan, a self-taught mathematics genius from India, travelled to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he forged a bond with his mentor, the eccentric professor GH Hardy, and fought to show the world the magic of his mind. Starring Dev Patel and Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons.

The Martian, Ridley Scott, USA (World Premiere)

During a manned mission to Mars, astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. Based on a best-selling novel, and helmed by master director Ridley Scott, The Martian features a star-studded cast that includes Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.

The Program, Stephen Frears, United Kingdom (World Premiere)

From Academy Award-nominated director Stephen Frears (The Queen, Philomena) and producers Working Title (The Theory of Everything), comes the true story of the meteoric rise and fall of one of the most celebrated and controversial men in recent history, Lance Armstrong. Starring Ben Foster, Dustin Hoffman, Chris O’Dowd and Guillaume Canet.

Remember, Atom Egoyan, Canada (North American Premiere)

Remember is the contemporary story of Zev, who discovers that the Nazi guard who murdered his family some 70 years ago is living in America under an assumed identity. Despite the obvious challenges, Zev sets out on a mission to deliver long-delayed justice with his own trembling hand. What follows is a remarkable cross-continent road-trip with surprising consequences. Starring Academy Award winners Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau.

Septembers of Shiraz, Wayne Blair, USA (World Premiere)

A thriller based on the New York Times bestseller, this is the true story of a secular Jewish family caught in the 1979 Iranian revolution and their heroic journey to overcome and ultimately escape from the deadly tyranny that swept their country and threatened to extinguish their lives at every turn. Starring Salma Hayek and Adrien Brody.

Stonewall, Roland Emmerich, USA (World Premiere)

This fictional drama inspired by true events follows a young man caught up during the 1969 Stonewall Riots. Danny Winters (Jeremy Irvine) finds himself alone in Greenwich Village, homeless and destitute, until he befriends a group of street kids who introduce him to the local watering hole, The Stonewall Inn — however, this shady, mafia-run club is far from a safe haven. As Danny and his friends experience discrimination, endure atrocities and are repeatedly harassed by the police, the entire community of young gays, lesbians and drag queens who populate Stonewall erupts in a storm of anger. With the toss of a single brick, a riot ensues and a crusade for equality is born. Starring Jeremy Irvine, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ron Perlman and Joey King.
There’s more!

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TRAILER: New Orleans-Shot ‘Mississippi Grind’

by Caitlin Brimer on July 23, 2015

1437577639-1401x788-0000515997-1-mississippigrind-still1-unknownMonths after Mississippi Grind’s premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, the first official trailer for the road trip drama by the writer-director duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson, It’s Kind of A Funny Story) has been released.

Emmy-nominated Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline) stars as Gerry, a desperate gambler looking for any place to put his hope. He latches on to the young, charming and slightly sketchy poker player Curtis, played by Ryan Reynolds, who has a cool indifference about winning.

In order to pay Gerry’s debts, and perhaps curb his self-destructive habits, the two go on a road trip from Iowa to New Orleans, making several stops along the way to confront their past. While road trip movies are well worn territory, Mississippi Grind focuses mostly on the characters. The hot streak of an enigmatic Reynolds stands in contrast to the habitual failures of Mendelsohn, who never turns in a bad performance. As Gerry says, “Some guys are born to lose.”

For Reynolds, this film will be his fourth major New Orleans area production, following after Self/less, which premiered earlier this month, Green Lantern in 2011, and Waiting… in 2005.

Mississippi Grind also features a great cast that includes Sienna Miller, Analeigh Tipton, Alfre Woodard and Robin Weigert.

From A24, this dramatic road trip will debut on DirectTV August 13 and will open in theaters on September 25.

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american ultraThe stoner action comedy American Ultra just released its second trailer, and here’s the pitch: it’s Bourne mixed with bud.

Shot in the New Orleans area, American Ultra stars Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) as a stoner whose only assignment is holding down the saddest convenience store ever. Until he’s “activated” by Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights), and revealed to be a sleeper with Jason Bourne-style training. Kristen Stewart (The Twilight Saga) stars as his girlfriend.

Both Eisenberg and Stewart have a long history shooting in Louisiana. Eisenberg starred in the New Orleans-shot film Now You See Me and Stewart filmed The Yellow Handkerchief and Welcome to the Rileys in New Orleans and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 & 2 in Baton Rouge at Celtic Studios. She also shot part of On the Road in Louisiana.

The movie looks like a helluva lot of fun, reminiscent of director David Gordon Green’s Pineapple Express, an action/stoner comedy that took its action seriously. That film, which starred Seth Rogen, Danny McBride and a long-haired James Franco, was a surprise hit for Sony. Costing only $27 million, it brought in over $90 million worldwide before making a bundle on DVD after it was released in 2008.

American Ultra is written by Chronicle scribe Max Landis, who’s wit is clearly evident in the trailer, and directed by Nima Nourizadeh, who also directed Project X. Topher Grace, Walton Goggins, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman, Tony Hale and Teri Wyble also appear.

American Ultra is slated to hit theaters on August 21.

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2015 Primetime Emmy Award Nominations

by Arthur Vandelay

The 2015 Primetime Emmy Award nominations have been announced! The full list is below with Louisiana and Georgia connections noted in blue. American Horror Story remains an Emmy favorite, this time earning nominations for its latest installment Freak Show, including New Orleans-based casting direction Meagan Lewis, who won for the first time last year. The Georgia-shot shows The Walking […]

IN THEATERS: Ant-Man, Trainwreck, Mr. Holmes, Irrational Man, The Stanford Prison Experiment

by Arthur Vandelay

The Georgia-shot Marvel movie Ant-Man finally hits theaters today. Word on the street is that it’s fun as hell, approaching the surprise greatness of last summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Judd Apatow’s new movie Trainwreck is also opening, along with Mr. Holmes, Irrational Man and The Stanford Prison Experiment. Ant-Man Paul Rudd has the ability to shrink in size and grow […]

7 Reasons to Watch ‘7 Days in Hell’

by Elizabeth Glauser

HBO’s mockumentary 7 Days in Hell premiered Saturday, telling the tale of a seven-day Wimbledon match between American bad boy Aaron Williams and English dimwit Charles Poole. The usually demure sport serves as a backdrop for an absurd, laugh-out-loud story. Below are seven reasons to watch: 1) Dueling Tennis Historians: Fred Armisen and Will Forte […]

VIDEO: Kevin Hart Works Out with LSU Football Team

by Arthur Vandelay

Get Hard star Kevin Hart recently spent some time with the LSU Football team at the Louisiana university’s world class facility in Baton Rouge. Alongside the team, he was joined by writer Harry Ratchford, who recently wrote for HBO’s great new show Ballers and BET’s Comicview.