Hollywood Film Festival Shines a Light on Topical Issues such as homelessness

“This festival is about films and entertainment and I’m delighted to be on this panel to talk about homelessness,” said Manager Brenda Threatt, Winter Shelter System for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA).

“This festival is about films and entertainment and I’m delighted to be on this panel to talk about homelessness,” said Manager Brenda Threatt, Winter Shelter System for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA).

This story first appeared on Examiner.com

head shot of brenda threatt LAHSA

“Homelessness is not entertainment; it is a serious crisis in our country and community. I think is extraordinary that people in this industry and the Hollywood film Festival have come together to bring light to this issue,” explained Brenda Threatt, Winter Shelter System manager, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

“This festival is about films and entertainment and I’m delighted to be on this panel to talk about homelessness,” said Manager Brenda Threatt, Winter Shelter System for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). .  Threat was among a half dozen panelist for the Hollywood Film Festival  (Oct. 16-19). “Homelessness is not entertainment; it is a serious crisis in our country and community. I think is extraordinary that people in this industry and the Hollywood film Festival have come together to bring light to this issue,” explained Threatt.

The 90-minute panel on homelessness was moderated by Executive Director John  Maceri, Ocean Park Community Center. In addition to LAHSA’s Brenda Threatt and John Maceri, the featured, distinguished  speakers included: Katie Stagliano, activist, The Starfish Throwers; Jacquelyn Aluotto, director and producer of the Nimby Experience and Evvy Shapero and Kara Fox, co-founders of Glamour Project.

“People end up in homelessness for various reasons, “said Threatt. “Any one of us could end up homeless for the same reasons. They are no different from us, they are people trying to live,” she said.

The 90-minute panel on homelessness was moderated by Executive Director John  Maceri, Ocean Park Community Center. In addition to LAHSA’s Brenda Threatt and John Maceri, the featured, distinguished  speakers included: Katie Stagliano, activist, The Starfish Throwers; Jacquelyn Aluotto, director and producer of the Nimby Experience and Evvy Shapero and Kara Fox, co-founders of Glamour Project.

The 90-minute panel on homelessness was moderated by Executive Director John Maceri, Ocean Park Community Center. In addition to LAHSA’s Brenda Threatt and John Maceri, the featured, distinguished speakers included: Katie Stagliano, activist, The Starfish Throwers; Jacquelyn Aluotto, director and producer of the Nimby Experience and Evvy Shapero and Kara Fox, co-founders of Glamour Project.

LAHSA, which will be counting the homeless in January, is seeking 5,000 volunteers to help in the Greater LA Homeless Count 2015. The last count showed 39,000 men, women and children in the City of LA have no place to call home. And in L.A. County homelessness amounts to around 58,000 over a 4,000 square mile area.

When asked “what can an individual do to help a homeless person,” she said, “We had several suggestions and the most basic one is to ‘care about them as people, to not step over them, not to ignore them, but to see them as human beings’. We should talk to our policymakers and make them accountable to these human beings who represent all of us,” explained Threatt.

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Ietef Vita or “DJ Gavem Moetavation” talks to writer, producer and photographer Makkida Asfaw about “From Gangs to Gardens”, a rap movie that premiered at the Hollywood Film Festival

Other highlights of the film festival on through tonight (Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014) included the debut showing of, “From Gangs to Gardens, Rap DJ Cavem Moetavation along with his midwife educates youth on eating healthier via organic garden (www.djcavem.com). D.J Cavem said, “We need to educate our youth to reduce obesity in schools and my music and this film is doing just that.”

Hollywood Film Festival Owner Brad Parks, Principal & COO of CineCause plans to launch new software in six months that will revolutionize filmmakers way they do business. Works like a DropBox, but more like a new private social network.

Hollywood Film Festival Owner Brad Parks, Principal & COO of CineCause plans to launch new software in six months that will revolutionize filmmakers way they do business. Works like a DropBox, but more like a new private social network.

And finally, during a break of the dozens of films on everything from homelessness to human trafficking, Film Festival Owner Brad Parks, COO, of CineCause exclusively announced that he has come up with a new software program that will revolutionize the way filmmakers, own and sell their films globally online. He says it’s similar to DropBox, but more powerful in how social impact filmmakers produce, share and manage their film properties.  The Hollywood Film Festival ends Sunday night.

 

Project Mermaids to help save our oceans and boost awareness

Project Mermaids was the talk of the town in Venice over the weekend.

Project Mermaids

When you want to get someone’s attention whether it’s saving animals, the environment or our oceans, offer a good venue, entertainment, a red carpet of celebrities, great food and everyone shows up.

Dr. Mark Valinsky helped stage Project Mermaids, over the weekend (10-3-14) at the G2 Gallery, Venice, CA. It was a private invitation only,  red carpet affair and once inside the architecturally, beautiful gallery, the event blossomed into a one huge extravaganza of images, murals, videos, a silent auction, electric violin music by Liz Baylor and mouthwatering food and desserts by Chef Denise Caplan, Onset Catering.

Project Mermaids was started in 2012 by celebrity fashion photographer Angelina Venturella and acclaimed underwater photographer Chiara Salomoni who share the same passion for photography and preserving the ocean.

 Mark Valinsky

Event coordinators on the red carpet, including Mark Valinsky (right) at the G2 Gallery, Venice, CA.

The goal of Project Mermaids is to bring awareness as to how precious the ocean and beaches are and to keep this beautiful environment healthy and clean. 50 percent of the proceeds go to the save our beach foundation. http://www.projectmermaids.com/

Project Mermaids plans to create a table book of celebrities and models as mermaids, to show the world the ocean and its beauty.

“It’s important to have these kinds of events, our oceans are important, because it’s what keeps us alive,” explained Brittnee Hollenbach – Model and one of the Project Mermaids. “I’ve never done anything like this before, it was amazing,” she said.

According to Project Mermaids: “A day by the ocean sounds like part of the ideal life: waking up in the morning, go to the beach; relax to the sound of the waves crashing on the fresh sand. Sounds like a great way to start your day, to spend your vacations, the best place to watch the sunset, create memories.”

The project shows that something has changed during the past years. The huge amount of trash, and the uncontrolled fishing are causing our oceans and beaches to become desolated, covered in trash like open dumps.

headshot of Brittnee Hollenbach

“It’s important to have these kinds of events, our oceans are important, because it’s what keeps us alive,” explained Brittnee Hollenbach – Model and one of the Project Mermaids. “I’ve never done anything like this before, it was amazing,” she said.

According to Project Mermaids: “A day by the ocean sounds like part of the ideal life: waking up in the morning, go to the beach; relax to the sound of the waves crashing on the fresh sand. Sounds like a great way to start your day, to spend your vacations, the best place to watch the sunset, create memories.”

The project shows that something has changed during the past years. The huge amount of trash, and the uncontrolled fishing are causing our oceans and beaches to become desolated, covered in trash like open dumps.

People day by day are starting to understand that this growing problem and attitude against our oceans. They say it is going to soon turn against us and few organizations are currently donating their time to open the eyes of the world.

Haley Pharo

“Our passion for the water, the ocean, and the beauty of this different ecosystem, got us together to get more people to see the astonishing beauty that is slowly dying because of our indifference,” said Photographers Angelina Venturella and Chiara Salomoni, who met in Southern California and were brought together by the same passion for the ocean, photography and a particular eye for beauty.

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With their goal in mind they’re working with The Mertailor Eric from Florida, which , made the tails for the models such as Brittnee Hollenbach and the result of their donation is going to be addressed the saveourbeach.org.

Torey Devitto

Torey Devitto

“Our goal is to show how precious our ocean and beaches are, and how well people can function in and around it, photographing models and celebrities in the water, in and around the ocean wearing mermaid tails,” Venturella and Salomoni explained. “The induced fear coming from years of stereotypes is defeated, with the knowledge that is up to every one of us to keep this beautiful environment healthy and clean.”

They have plenty of support, too. The sponsors are large, too like Boeing, Toyota and Aquarium of the Pacific.

“This is the project we are creating to get the world to see how much more there is beneath the choppy surface of the seas, and how much more there is to work with. The world just needs to see it in order to understand it and take action,” the photographers said.

 Photographers Angelina Venturella and Chiara Salomoni

Photographers Angelina Venturella and Chiara Salomoni (far right), who inspired the Project Mermaids.