“Into The Cold: A Journey of the Soul” By Sebastian Copeland

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Follow Sebastian Copeland and Keith Heger in the “Everest of Polar Expeditions”, a 34 day trek in -34 Degree F, -30 Degree C temperatures, in their hopes of reaching the North Pole to commemorate the centennial of Admiral Peary’s Expedition in 1909, to raise awareness towards global warming, and just for the adventure of it.  Journey with them on flights from Ottawa, Canada, to Iqaluit, NU Canada, to Resolute Bay, to Eureka, Nanavut, to the ice, and on to a 34 day trek with only their sled and pack.

Will they make it safely to the Northernmost point on Earth, 90 degree latitude, the place where all time zones and lines of longitude meet?  With a 70 % failure rate for even the fittest of athletes, you must watch this poetic and articulate documentary at The Tribeca Film Festival.

Saturday April, 24: 4pm Chelsea Clearview Cinema (CCC-8) 260 West 23rd St Btwn 7th/8th Ave

Monday April 26: 12: 00pm Chelsea Clearview Cinema (CCC-7) 260 West 23rd St Btwn 7/8th Ave

Friday April 30, 6:45pm, Village East Cinema (VEC-4) 181 2nd Avenue @ 12th Street

Saturday, May 1, 4:00pm Tribeca Cinemas (TC-2)  54 Varick Street @ Laight Street

“The Two Escobars”/”Los dos Escobares” by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, Showing at Tribeca Film Festival, April 22, 23, 25, and May 1st, 2010

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment


“The Two Escobars”  by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist

With 54 Days, 04 Hours, 40 minutes and 00 seconds left until the 2010 FIFA World Cup to be held this summer in Johannesburg, South Africa,  many may really enjoy this fantastic film comparing the lives of two humble, yet  powerful men  born in the same city, Medellin, Columbia, who share the same last name, but have no relation to one another, except the fact that they both simultaneously had a major impact on the economic rise and fall of Columbia, South America. Columbian national soccer player, Andres Escobar  (March 13, 1967- July 2, 1994), and Columbian drug lord, Pablo Escobar, (December 1, 1949- December 2, 1993), both helped move millions of dollars into the Columbian economy, one through soccer, the other through cocaine.  As soccer has such an enormous impact on the South American and world economy, enormous pressure was placed on the Columbian national soccer players in the 1980’s and 1990’s to win, or be killed.  When the players won, they were rewarded with large bonuses by the Columbian leaders with money made from drug trafficking, and when and if they lost, they had to face the consequences.

ESPN Films Presents the world premiere of “The Two Escobars”.

Interviews with Jeff and Michael Zimbalist:

Please try to attend one of the four following times the film will be shown at “The Tribeca Film Festival 2010”.

Thursday, April 22, 9pm,  Clearview Chelsea Cinema (260 West 23rd Street)

Friday, April 23, 3pm,  Village East Cinema 1 (189 2nd Avenue)

Sunday, April 25, 3:00pm, Village East Cinema 1 (189 2nd Avenue)

Saturday, May 1, 6:30pm Tribeca Cinemas Theater 2 (54 Varick Street)

Con 54 días, 04 horas, 40 minutos y 00 segundos para la Copa Mundial de Fútbol de la FIFA 2010, que se celebrará este verano en Johannesburgo (Sudáfrica), muchos seguramente disfrutarán esta excelente película que compara las vidas de dos hombres humildes, pero a la vez poderosos, que nacieron en la misma ciudad, en Medellín (Colombia). Ambos comparten el mismo apellido pero no tienen ningún parentesco, aunque ambos tuvieron, de manera simultánea, un impacto enorme en el surgimiento y hundimiento económico de Colombia: uno de ellos a través del fútbol, y el otro por la cocaína. Debido a que el fútbol tiene un impacto tan importante en la economía sudamericana, así como en la economía mundial, los jugadores de fútbol de la selección colombiana de los años 80 y 90 eran coaccionados para que ganasen, o murieran. Cuando los jugadores ganaban, recibían recompenses exorbitantes por parte de los líderes colombianos procedentes de dinero Ganado del tráfico de drogas, y cuando perdían, tenían que afrontar las consecuencias.

ESPN Films presenta el estreno mundial de “The Two Escobars”.

Por favor, intente asistir a una de las cuatro sesiones en que se exhibirá esta película en el “Festival de Cine de Tribeca 2010”

Jueves, 22 de abril a las 9pm,  Clearview Chelsea Cinema (260 West 23rd Street)

Viernes, 23 de abril a las 3pm,  Village East Cinema 1 (189 2nd Avenue)

Domingo, 25 de abril a las 3:00pm, Village East Cinema 1 (189 2nd Avenue)

Sábado, 1 de mayo a las 6:30pm, Tribeca Cinemas Theater 2 (54 Varick Street)]

“Keep Surfing” Showing at Tribeca Film Festival April 26, 28, 30, and May 1st, 2010

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

“Keep Surfing”

This German documentary, directed and produced by Bjorn Richie Lob, demonstrates how you “don’t need an ocean to surf”, and how “you can surf a wave forever”. Travel to Munich, Germany, on the “Eisbach River”, just past the bridge near the “Haus der Kunst” art museum, where the man-made river and tributary to the Isar River, forms a standing wave about one meter high.  Surfers have made “surfing more tangible”, allowing them to surf on a continuous surging wave for as long as one can balance for.  Follow this passionate subculture of local, visiting, poser, and professional river and ocean surfers through their journey in attempting to balance work/surfing, raising families/surfing,  and  traveling/surfing.  “Surfing changes a person for the better.”

Great soundtrack by Philip Stegers/Lee Buddah.  Songs by “Dimi” and “Kitty the Hill”.

Soundtrack to be released on May 20th by “Normal records”.  http://www.normal-records.com.

World Sales: Beta Cinema:  “Il Divo”, “Mongol”, and “Lives of Others”.

Other good surf docs: “Bustin’ Down the Door”/2008

Trailer: in German: http://www.facebook.com/l/6fd35;www.keep-surfing.de/

International Trailer: http://www.facebook.com/l/6fd35;www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h2yzBNgGwk

****Interview with Surfer/Actor in “Keep Surfing”: Quirin Rohleder

Q: Sharon Abella:  What were your fondest memories while making the film?

A: Quirin Rohleder: “My fondest memories… I guess that the movie took so long to finish, ha ha ha. (It took 10 years to make). I completely lost track and actually forgot about the whole thing. When I saw the first version and my first scene, I had too look at myself twice as I barely recognized myself.   Björn  and I did the first interviews so long ago.  When Björn suddenly showed up in Tahiti where I was working at the time. That’s when I realized he was actually serious about the whole thing. ”

Q: Sharon Abella: What are your favorite surf destinations?

A: Quirin Rohleder:  “My favorite destinations… I only surf the Eisbach in Munich and sometimes the other waves in the city. I once went to Zurich, Switzerland, but that’s it. I’m not really traveling to surf rivers. I have been living in France for 11 years now and there’s this one spot close to where I live where I love to surf with a couple of friends. For me it more about who I surf with rather than what wave.”

Q: Sharon Abella: If you could surf with 3 professional surfers, who would they be?

A: Quirin Rohleder: “I have been working on the ASP World Tour for several years now and I have an athlete management agency so I’m around professional surfers a lot. I love to surf with one of my clients, Adrian Buchan, from Australia. He’s super mellow in the water. So is Jay “Bottle” Tompson, also from Australia.

I basically surfed with pretty much every top professional surfer of the last few years. Kelly, Parko, Taj… It’s obviously always mind boggling what they do, but to be honest, the best thing is to surf with my best friends.”

Screenings of “Keep Surfing” at “The Tribeca Film Festival”:

Monday, April 26th, 2010 at 10:00 pm at Clearview  Chelsea Cinema –8

Wednesday,  April 28th, 2010 at 8:45 pm at Village East Cinema-2

Friday, April 30th 2010 at 3:30pm at Village East Cinema-6

Sunday, May 1st, 2010 at 12:00 pm Tribeca Cinema-1

“9th Annual Tribeca Film Festival” April 21st through May 2nd, 2010

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

“Tribeca Film Festival” April 21st through May 2nd, 2010

The 9th Annual “Tribeca Film Festival” begins with “Shrek Forever After” in 3-D on April 21st, and ends with Morgan Spurlock’s, “Freakonomics”, and James Franco’s “Saturday Night”, on May 1st and 2nd, showing many terrific films from a variety of different genre’s and nationalities, in between.  www.tribecafilm.com “Here comes the neighborhood.”

Restaurants in Tribeca:

“Locanda Verde”, “Tribeca Grill”, “Mr. Chow’s”, “Nobu”, “Nobu Next Door”, “Cercle Rouge”, “Blaue Gans”, “Megu”, “Corton”, “Landmarc, “City Hall Restaurant”,  “Ninja”,  “Matsugen”, “Bouley Upstairs”,  “Wolfgang’s Steakhouse”, “Bubble Lounge”, and “Dylan Prime”.

Many downtown newcomers:

“TriBeCafe” 276 Church Street between Franklin and White.

“Kenmare” 98 Kenmare Street between Mulberry and Centre Streets

“Franklin Café Tavola Calda”, 222 West Broadway at White Street

“Pulino’s” 282 Bowery and East Houston

“Project Sandwich”, Thompson between Prince/Spring

“Tartinery” 209 Mulberry/Spring

“Bee Desserts”  94 Greenwich Ave Between Jane St. and West 12th St.

“The Collective” One Little West 12th St Between Gansevoort and Little W. 12th St.

“Red Betty’s” 64 East First Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues”

“Lizzaran” 45 Mercer Street between Broome and Grand Streets

“Hirai Mong” 12 St. Marks Place between 2nd/3rd Ave

“1834 Bar and Burger” 62 Pearl Street between Broad/William

“Satay Junction” 28 Greenwich Ave between Charles and West 10th

“Terry” 60 West 23rd between 5th/6th Ave.

“Ovest Pizzoteca” 513 West 27th between 10th/11th

“Eastern Alley” 6 Clinton Street at Houston

“Polar” in Hotel Marcel 201 East 24th St at 3rd Ave.

“V Bar St. Marks” 132 First Ave/St. Marks”

“Colicchio and Sons” 85 Tenth Ave @ 15th St.

“Meatball Shop” 84 Stanton Street between Allen/Orchard

“Bistro De La Gare” 626 Hudson Street near Jane St.

“Faustina” Cooper Square Hotel between 5th/6th St

“Mole” 57 Jane St/Hudson

“Atlas Café” 37 Clinton St at Stanton St

“Lea” 188 Allen Street between Houston/Stanton

“Led Zeppole” 328 East 14th St between 1st/2nd Ave

“Betel” 51 Grove Street/Bleeker

“Le Da Nang” 75 Second Ave between Fourth/Fifth St

Thierry Fremaux sur le theme “Lumiere”

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Thierry Fremaux sur le thème “Lumière”

Les frères Lumière, Auguste Lumière, né en 1862, et Louis, né en 1864, ont été parmi les premiers cinéastes, contribuant ainsi à la naissance du cinéma en 1895. Nés à Besançon, en France, ils ont déménagé à Lyon en 1870, où ils ont tous deux participé à une école technique. Leur père, Claude-Antoine Lumière, dirigeait une entreprise de photographie et de ses fils travaillaient pour lui. Lorsque Claude-Antoine a pris sa retraite en 1892, Auguste et Louis ont commencé à créer des images animées. Ils ont fait breveter un certain nombre de processus importants qui ont mené à leur caméra-notamment les perforations du film, en tant que moyen de faire avancer le film par la caméra et le projecteur.

Les premières images enregistrées en utilisant la caméra Lumière, ont été le 19 Mars, 1895. C’étaient utilisés à la fois pour la projection de films et leur développement. Non seulement la caméra effectuait deux tâches avec une seule boîte, mais la boîte était petite, pesant  que 12 livres. Les Frères Lumière ont également développé le cinématographe, un trois sur un dispositif qui permettait d’enregistrer, de développer et de  projeter les films cinématographiques. Non seulement inventeurs, les Frères Lumière ont été aussi bien auteurs et réalisateurs.

Ils savaient qu’ils avaient besoin d’avoir un sujet, un traitement et une position de caméra, et jouissaient de montrer au monde tel qu’il était, les événements quotidiens et les gens de cette époque. Comme un tableau de Renoir, et le mouvement impressionniste, les Lumière étaient  20 ans en avance de leur époque.

Les Frères Lumière avaient 50 secondes et seulement 17 mètres de pellicule pour raconter leur histoire. Ils ont embauché 100 opérateurs de caméra dans journaux. L’annonce lisait, «nous recherchons des jeunes hommes qui aiment l’aventure ». Les cinématographes ont dû chanter une chanson dans leur esprit pour leur rappeler la vitesse du film, et chanter une chanson  en projetant le film, comme ils ont utilisé plusieurs vitesses, certains ont été de 24, certains ont été de 22, certains ont été 25 … ”

Thierry Frémaux, directeur artistique du Festival international du film de Cannes a commenté sur les Lumière, tout en montrant des films par les inventeurs récemment restaurés, et nous a rappelé que les Frères Lumière, dont le nom signifie “lumière” en français*, ont été les premiers dans le cinéma, pas Thomas Edison . “Partout où je vais, les gens essaient de me dire que leur pays a été le premier à inventer le cinéma”, explique Thierry. “Par exemple en Allemagne, il est Adolf Dassler, en Angleterre, il est Birt Acres, et dans les États-Unis, on mentionne toujours, Thomas Edison.

Quelques-uns de leurs films sont les suivants:

1. La Sortie de l’Usine Lumière à Lyon
2. La Voltige
3. La Pêche aux Poissons Rouges
4. Le Débarquement du Congrès de Photographie à Lyon
5. Les Forgerons
6. Le Jardinier
7. Le Repas
8. Le Saut à la Couverture
9. La Place des Cordelières à Lyon
10. La Mer

Le film de Louis Lumière, «L’ Arrivée d’ un Train à la Gare », a révélé, le train arrivant à la diagonale de l’écran, une méthode de cadrage non conventionnelle. Par conséquent, les Lumières ont lancé non seulement les caractéristiques techniques de la caméra, mais aussi ses attributs artistiques. Bien que les frères Lumière n’ont pas été les premiers inventeurs à développer des techniques pour créer des images en mouvement, ils sont souvent crédités comme les premiers inventeurs du cinéma comme média de masse, et sont parmi les premiers à comprendre comment l’utiliser. Quelques-unes de leurs découvertes ont été leur utilisation des effets spéciaux, le film familial  à la maison, la première comédie, le premier documentaire, le traitement de la couleur, et l’utilisation de la 3D. Ils ont aussi beaucoup voyagé, ayant tourné en Chine, en Angleterre, Irlande, Turquie, Egypte, Tunisie, Italie, Mexique, et le Japon,

Thierry Fremaux a reconnu les anciens gagnants de la Palme D’Or, Jerry Schatzberg, et Michael Moore. Également présents,  étaient le Chef la faculté de film à Columbia University, Annette Insdorff,  la Directrice Exécutive d’Unifrance, Regine Hatchondo, et Le Producteur de film, Jon Kilik.

Leur expérience en photographie des Lumière, leur sens aigu de la narration du quotidien, leur sens de l’aventure, et leurs inventions pionnières, ont fait la sélection de leur composition plus avancée et très jolie.

Thierry Fremaux on “Lumiere”

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Lumiere brothers, Auguste Lumiere, born in 1862, and Louis, born in 1864, were among the earliest filmmakers, contributing to the birth of film in 1895.  Born in Besancon, France, they moved to Lyon in 1870, where they both attended technical school. Their father, Claude-Antoine Lumiere, ran a photography business and his sons worked for him.  When Claude-Antoine retired in 1892, Auguste and Louis began to create moving pictures.   They patented a number of significant processes leading up to their film camera-most notably film perforations, as a means of advancing the film through the camera and projector.

The first footage ever recorded using the Lumiere camera, was on March 19, 1895.  It was used for both film projection and development.  Not only could the camera perform two tasks in one box, but the box was small, weighing only 12 pounds. The Lumiere’s also further developed the cinematographe, a three in one device that could record, develop, and project motion pictures.  Not only inventors, the Lumiere’s were authors and directors as well.

They knew that they needed to have a subject, a treatment and a camera position, and enjoyed showing the world as it was, everyday events, and the people of that time.  Like a Renoir painting, and the Impressionist movement, the Lumiere’s were 20 years before their time.

The Lumiere’s had 50 seconds and only 17 meters of film to tell their story. They hired 100 camera operators from the newspapers, and the ad read, “we are looking for young men who like an adventure.  Cinematographers had to sing a song in their mind to remind them of the speed of the film, and had to sing a song when they screened the film, as they used several speeds, some were 24, some were 22, some were 25…”

Thierry Fremaux, the artistic director of the Cannes International Film Festival commentated on the Lumiere’s while showing newly restored films by the inventors, and reminded us that the Lumiere’s, whose name means “Light” in French, were the first in film, not Thomas Edison. “Everywhere I go, people try to tell me that their country was the first to invent the motion picture”, Thierry explained.  “For example in Germany, it is Adolf Dassler, in England, it is Birt Acres, and in the States, they always have to mention, Thomas Edison.”

A few of their films included the following:

  1. La Sortie de l’Usine Lumiere a Lyon  (Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory)
  2. La Voltige (Horse Trick Riders”
  3. La Peche aux poisons rouges, (Fishing for goldfish)
  4. Le Debarquement du Congres de Photographie a Lyon (The Disembarkment of the Congress of Photographers in Lyon
  5. Les Forgerons, Blacksmiths
  6. Le Jardinier (The Gardener)
  7. Le Repas (Baby’s Breakfast)
  8. Le Saut a la couverture (Jumping Onto the Blanket)
  9. La Place des Cordelieres a Lyon (Cordeliers Square in Lyon)
  10. La Mer (The Sea)

Louis Lumiere’s film, “The Arrival of a Train Station”, showed the train coming in diagonally across the screen, a very unconventional method of framing.  Therefore, the Lumieres’ pioneered not only the technical attributes of the camera, but also it’s artistic attributes. Although the Lumiere brothers were not the first inventors to develop techniques to create motion pictures, they are often credited as one of the first inventors of Cinema as a mass medium, and are among the first who understand how to use it.   A few of their discoveries were their use of special effects, the first home movie, the first comedy, the first documentary, color processing, and the use of 3D.  They were also very well traveled, having filmed in China, England, Ireland, Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, Italy, Mexico, and Japan.

Thierry Fremaux recognized former Palm d’Or winners, Jerry Schatzberg, and  Michael Moore.  Also in attendance, were the Head of Columbia University Film Department, Annette Insdorff, Executive Director of uniFrance,  Regine Hatchondo, and, Film Producer, Jon Kilik.

The Lumiere’s background in photography, their keen sense of everyday storytelling, sense of adventure, and  pioneering inventions, made their composition selection more advanced and tres jolie.

Thelma Schoonmaker 2/19/10

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Thelma Schoonmaker is a film editor who has worked side by side with Martin Scorsese, on “Raging Bull”, “The Aviator”, “The Departed”, and “Shutter Island”.  She has been nominated for six Academy Awards, and has won three for best editing.

« Read the rest of this entry »

“Ringo Starr”

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

New Album, “Y Not”

Set List

1.  “Photograph”

2.  “When I Walk With You”

3.  Ringo on drums replied, “I can still lift up these sticks”.

“I Want to Be Your Man”

4.   Ben Harper/solo/acoustic guitar

“Hard to Be Without You”

5.  “Ben Harper and Relentless 7”

“Morning Yearning”

6.  “Faithfully Remain”

7.  “Up to You Now”   Beautiful!

8.   “The Other Side of Liverpool”  off of “Y Not”

Ringo’s drum head broke and he sarcastically remarked, “the help these days, Jeff has been with me for 20 years, and today is his last day”.

9.  “It Don’t Come Easy”

10.  “Help With a Little Help From My Friends”

11. Encore with Joan Osborne, Ben Harper, and Relentless 7.

“From the Mara to the Marathon” CLICK NOW TO WATCH THE 60 MINUTE FILM FOR FREE /”SnagFilms”, ALSO, please read a recent, personal Interview with Anthony Edwards

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/from_the_mara_to_the_marathon/Click on the link above now and follow a young Masaai, Ole Kane Lettura, on his journey from Kenya to New York City, to run in the 2007 ING New York Marathon!

From September, 2006 to July, 2007, the admired Anthony Edwards, best known for his eight year run as emergency room doctor, Dr. Mark Greene, on the hit television show, “ER”, as well as his infamous role as Goose, in “Top Gun”, traveled with his wife and four children on an around the world journey, focusing mainly on the Mara, one of the 26 regions of Tanzania named after the Mara River, and the Maasai Mara, a large game reserve in south-western Kenya, and the northern continuation of the Serengeti National Park, named after the Masaai people, an indigenous African ethnic group, and traditional inhabitants of the area. There are approximately 883,000 Maasai, and are one of the largest living tribes in the world. They are pastoralist, semi-nomadic, speak Maa, Swahili, and English, able to farm in deserts, and have resisted the Tanzanian and Kenyan governments request for them to abdandon their traditional lifestyle, to become more sedentary, and are very proud of their heritage.

Anthony had always dreamed of being a photographer for “National Geographic”, and stated, “Africa had always been a huge mystery to me.”  While he and his family were on safari, a young Masaai, and scout named, Ole Kane Lettura, also referred to as Lettura, was working for a safari company in Western Kenya.  Lettura, with a peaceful, down to earth disposition, took to the Edwards’, and invited Anthony on a run through the camp, explaining how much he loved to run, “how running was like a big game and a lot of fun”. As they ran together, they grew closer, sharing stories about one another’s family and friends, and Anthony thought it would be a great experience to offer Lettura the opportunity to participate in the 2007 ING NYC Marathon, while raising awareness for the organization, “Shoe4Africa.org”.

The two have shared their experiences with us in an hour long documentary, directed by Anthony Edwards, entitled, “From the Mara to the Marathon”. Please follow the young Masaai,  Ole Kane Lettura, on his journey from Kenya to New York City to participate in the 2007 ING New York City Marathon, courtesy of “SnagFilms”.


“Shoe4Africa.org”, founded by CEO, Toby Tanser,  Anthony Edwards/Chairman, along with Supporters/Sponsors, Kim Alexis/Supermodel, Natalie Portman/Actress, Cameron Diaz/Actress, and Cristiano Ronaldo/Football/Soccer Player.  “Shoe4Africa.org” has distributed numerous shoes, 25,000 + in 2008, to communities in Africa, with the hopes of preventing hookworm, a parasitic disease and leading cause of maternal and child morbidity, causing cognitive and growth retardation, and anemia.

Preventing hookworm is only “Shoe4Africa”‘s 1st Step in education and health initiatives. “Shoe4Africa.org” also has provided AIDS Testing and Awareness programs on the sidelines of sponsored races, promoted empowerment by arranging 10 women’s-only races with over 5000 participants, promoted peace through the Kenyan Peace Races to bring rival tribes together after widespread violence following the December 2007 elections, bringing elite internal athletes from all corners of Kenya and their 42 tribes together to march for peace. They have furthered education by building the “Shoe4Africa Martin Lel Secondary School“, and is ALSO currently fundraising for “The Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital”, the largest children’s hospital in Africa and one that is desperately needed to address children mortality and morbidity rates. As Mr. Edward’s stated, “because we are a small organization, we can be productive in many different areas and events.”

The NYC Marathon helped raise $120,000 for the pediatric teaching hospital, bringing the total close to $655,500.  They will break ground at $1,000,000, however, they require $5,000,000 for bricks and mortar and $10,000,000 for beds/ equipment, Totaling: $15,000,000, in all.

“The Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital” will be the largest children’s hospital in Africa, serving over 22 million people from Sudan to Uganda. It will prevent literally thousands of young children’s life’s being needlessly lost, as the Western Region of Kenya has a 13% child mortality rate, with over 330 fatalities annually, with pneumonia, HIV/AIDS, Diarrhea, Malaria, Dehydration Measles, and other Acute Respiratory Illnesses as just some of the major causes of death. All of which are treatable and preventable.  The “Shoe4Africa” pediatric teaching hospital will also serve the region’s medial field as a highly-regarded teaching hospital.

They are currently seeking partnerships with foundations, individuals, and organizations.

Interview with Anthony Edwards:

Question: Sharon Abella: “What drew you to the cause “Shoe4Africa”? “How did you get involved?”

Answer: Anthony Edwards:

“I met the CEO/Founder of “Shoe4Africa”, and coach, Tobey Tanser, in New York City.  I am drawn to entrepreneurs, however, it wasn’t until my family and I went on an around the world trip and actually saw a “Shoe4Africa” event first hand. They were helping to empower and respect women in Kenya, empowering local women though sports activities, community events and providing scholarships for schoolgirls in Kenya and Tanzania.  I knew this was the organization for me.”

Q: SA:  “Shoe4Africa” does not only collect sneakers/shoes to be donated to those in need.  It is multifaceted. Tell us about their other focus areas.

A: AE: “Shoe4Africa” is just the first step in education and health initatives, because we are a small organization, we can be proactive on different events. For example, after the violence occurred following the December 2007 elections, we promoted peace through the Kenyan Peace Races to bring rival tribes together.  Also as a result of the violence, we also came up with the hospital idea.  There are currently no Children’s Hospitals in Kenya.

Q: SA: “What is the financial goal?

A: AE: “We are currently at $650,000-$700,000, and will begin breaking ground at $1,000,000.  It is $5,000,000 for the bricks and mortar, and $10,000,000. for beds/equipment.  All together $15,000,000.  It will not only serve as the first children’s public hospital, but also as a pediatric teaching hospital as well.  The goal is to reverse the high infant mortality rate, where 180 out of 1000 infants die.”

Q: SA: “How does the Masaai tribe differ from other tribes in Kenya/Africa?  In the film, “From Mara to the Marathon”, you mentioned that the Masaai are the most intact, wild living tribe on earth, and that most tribes don’t exist anymore. Share some of their daily rituals.”

A: AE: “It is like being in an episode of “National Geographic”.  The Masaai live in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania along the Great Rift Valley. They live in huts made from mud, sticks and grass, called minattas, they are pastoralist, they raise and trade/barter, and sell cattle, goats and sheep as their primary source of income. They rely on meat, milk and blood from cattle for protein. They have a strong sense of family, community, and respect for their elders, have an incredible sense of pride of who they are, and are self-empowered because they are able to live off the land.”

Q: SA: Had Lettura been on a plane before?  Did he have a passport?

A: AE: “He had never been on an airplane before.  He did not have a passport.  He had been to Nairobi before, (capital and largest city of Kenya), so he had seen a six story building before.  And he has a cell phone, he has to go 20 miles to charge the phone, however, and we still keep in touch either by texting or talking via cell phone.  Our way of life is not necessarily going to change their way of life.  It is  a misconception that they secretly want to be like us.”

Q: SA: “What was the greatest learning experience that you brought back from Lettura?”

A: AE: “Lettura is a great example of not being afraid, having confidence, knows who he is, does not feel threatened or in competition, he just owns it.  I can generalize most of the Masaai that I met, and it is probably what keeps drawing me back.  The Masaai have a lack of insecurity, warmth and ease in being with them, they treat you as friends, and are happy you are there.”

Q: SA: “Did Lettura know who Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot was? (Finished #2 in 2009 NYC Marathon in 2:09), when he met him?
A: AE: “Yes, he had heard of him.  He is like the Derek Jeter of Kenya.  Everyone knows Kenya athletes.  The Kenyan press is very important. Kenyan newspapers are very valuable.  With televisions being very few and far between, most rely on newspapers as their main source of information.”

Q: SA: “Lettura seemed to take to the big city life very well, whereas, I would think he might experience a bit of culture shock. He took the subways, went to the top of the Empire State Building, saw the Halloween costumes in Grand Central Station, Central Park Zoo, Were you surprised at how well he adjusted to NYC?”

A: AE:  “If this was a reality tv series, I can just hear the producers wanting more of a reaction to his first time being subjected to Western culture.  It was fun watching him observe and take it all in, and watching other people’s challenges.  Fun watching him take in details of the small things. For example, he had never used a razor before.  He had no problem wearing his shuka (Maa word for sheets worn wrapped around their body/usually red), although to show respect to our Western Culture, and in a natural human way, he wanted to wear Western clothes.”

Q: SA: “There is a lot of education that can be done: From water/food distribution, preventing illness, like dehydration, malaria, parasitic diseases like hookworm, donating sneakers, providing transportation to and from school, etc. How can the average person help?  Do you recommend donating mosquito nets, shoes, volunteer time, financial donations?

A: AE: “Find something that you connect to or that is important to you.  When the giver feels connected to giving, makes a difference.  We need money for the “Shoe4Africa Pediatric Hospital.  There is so much excess in the world, if we can somehow balance that out to other areas that need it.  Don’t give blindly. Know where your money is going.  I strongly encourage people to save up their money and get to Africa.  Have a personal experience there.  I guarantee you will find a connection where your donations will mean something, and will make an impact.”

Q: SA: “What can we learn from the Masaai, and their strong sense of community, pride in their heritage and culture?”

A: AE: “We are all so similar in relation to our love of family and community, because of that we are all connected and are brothers and sisters.”

Ashe Oleng: Thank you.

Please look for Anthony in the upcoming Rob Reiner film, “Flipped”, due out in September of 2010.


Interview with Israeli Musician, Idan Raichel

August 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

“Bridging The Borders with 88 Keys (52 White and 36 Black)”

Israeli pianist/keyboardist, composer, producer, and vocalist, Idan Raichel, dreams of uniting nations by building bridges made out of 88 Keys across to Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine with the hopes of allowing world musicians the freedom to unite, join forces, and perform together without conflict, mistrust, and political red tape, while respecting one another’s cultural diversifications. The musician places importance on the fact that “the world will live in peace when there are no borders.”

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