The Universe Multicultural Film Festival (UMFF) will be held this Friday April 6th to Sunday, April 8th. A number of events will happen in 4 venues in Palos Verdes Peninsula cities. Hundreds of filmmakers from Hollywood and aboard will meet in the beautiful peninsula for a full 3 days of film, fashion, finance, and multicultural harmony. All events are open to the public by purchasing admission tickets online. The honorees of UMFF are nominated by audience worldwide.
The opening gala will be hosted this Friday, April 6th. The Masters of Ceremony will be from Hollywood, actor Prince Jordan Tyson and super model Anna Vallefuoco. South bay two local artists will perform in the opening gala: Jayme Claire will sing the National Anthem to open the ceremony, Dan McNay will sing songs to welcome film maker from worldwide. Young dancer Cady Mariano from San Diego will perform her fantastic solo dance.
A number of industries panel discussions will be held in UMFF, which are in the area of screenwriting; production; pitching-and-catching and distribution, plus a working with China panel discussion. A number of well-know Hollywood film personalities will share their experiences with the audiences. James Cullen Bressack; Jacob N. Stuart, Carolina de Athey, Zack Van Eyck, Marilyn Anderson will have open discussions with screenwriters. Alisa Reyes, Michael Baumgarten, Michael Matteo Rossi, Elisabeth White will address the film produce tips with producers. John Rodsett, Rick Rieger, Bill H McKinney, Mark Sonoda, Lynn Tang and Rosario Elena will share their knowledge in distribution the films to worldwide market. A delegation of 20 Chinese film makers will tell their stories and share their insider view of how to make films in China. Check the UMFF schedule for the time of the individual panel discussions. http://umfilms.org/Event.html
Two live shows, the Maeya Culture Ambassador Contests and the screenplay showcases, will be present at the reception gala at Saturday night April 7th. This gala hosts will be Carolina de Athey, Linda Wong and young Hollywood star Kayley Stallings. The festival juries will share their judgment points and views. UMFF art juries committee members will decides the title winners. The jury’s members include international beauty title winners, models, actress, producers and directors.
The film Market session will be held in Sunday afternoon April 8th. Multiple film projects will do casting, interviews for directors, DP, Scrip doctors, composers, etc.
The famous rainbow red carpet and award ceremony will be hosted at the RHCC Community center in Rolling Hills Estates, the Host team will be Mark Justice, Sonya Kreizman, Magi Avila. The award presenters will be Vanessa Branch (Hollywood), Danny Pardo (Argentina), Sarina (Mongolia), Aki Aleong (Hollywood), festival jury members Eric Brodeur; Dallas King; Ian Fischer; Wei Zheng (China). The ceremony performers are Nityashetra Dance School (Disseminating classical Indian heritage), Wayne Collins and his band (Hollywood); Xi Opera (China); and Mongolian folk songs. Actress and HPC’s own Vida G. (Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Mindy Project) will be bestowed with an award.
Every year, first weekend of April, the UMFF brings worldwide movie stars and cultures shining at the peninsula. Please join in. More info at http://www.umfilms.org
Film screening venues:
Peninsula Center Library (701 Silver Spur Rd; Rolling Hills Estates; CA90274)
Fred Hesse Community Park, McTaggart Hall (29301 Hawthorne Blvd; Rancho Palos Verdes, Ca 90275)
Malaga Cove Library (2400 VíaCampesina, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274)
Film Panels, Market and gala venue: Fred Hesse Community Park, McTaggart Hall (29301 Hawthorne Blvd; Rancho Palos Verdes, Ca 90275)
Red Carpet and Award Ceremony Venue: RHCC Community Center (735 Silver Spur Rd; Rolling Hills Estates; CA90274)
(DOWNTOWN, LOS ANGELES) – March 31st, 2018 – The Hollywood Press Corps was at the historic Los Angeles Theater for the 6th Annual Rock Against MS event. Comedians Craig Gass and Hal Sparks co-hosted a night of music, fund raising and awards.
This special night was created to raise awareness and educate the public about multiple sclerosis, while raising money to build the first of many MS resource centers across the Nation. The goal is to build an outreach program service aptly name The ROCK HOUSE.
So many celebrities, actors and musicians came out to help raise funding and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis. Photographer Marie Gregorio-Oviedo was there to capture the celebrities as they walked the red carpet and rocked the iconic Los Angeles Theater.
This past Sunday, March 4th, the Iranian Circle of Women’s Intercultural Network (#ICWIN) proudly presented an International Women’s Day (#IWD) celebration at the Grand Ballroom at 4101 E Willow Street in Long Beach and HPC’s Vida G. was truly honored to be their event MC. This momentous event took place from 12:30-3:30pm and had many artists and activists in attendance.
#ICWIN was honored to have had Dr. Niaz Kasravi, a national expert and advocate on criminal justice, social justice and racial justice as the keynote speaker. Gloria Arellanes, the elder of Tongva/Los Angeles who for more than 40 years has been at the forefront of the Chicana and indigenous movements started the program.
Hanieh Jodat Barnes, Director of the Partnership of the Women’s March Foundation LA moderated a panel of candidates running for public office in Orange County including Kia Hamadanchy (Candidate from District 45) and Rachel Payne (Candidate from District 48), who are running for Congress as well as Farrah Kahn (running for Irvine City Council) and Mona Ghalbi (Volunteer/Advocate at #NextGenAmerica). Other speakers were activists Elahe Amani (Global Chair of ICWIN) and Sudi Farokhnia (Steering Committee of ICWIN). Vida also acknowledged the work of her grandmother, suffragist, educator and poet, Ashraf Meshkati, during the event.
The talented violinist Justina Jones who played the violin while attendees enjoyed the art gallery. The dance group of NKauj Hmoob Long Beach brought joy to the stage on this International Women’s Day. A rising star, soprano at the age of 15, Ponthea Zahraii, will took the stage.
The Circle is focused on raising consciousness on issues related to Iranian women both inside Iran and in the diasporas. In addition, the Circle aims to serve as a bridge, not only connecting the Iranian women’s communities, but also is in line with the idea of intersectionality in connecting them with other women of race, color, ethnicity, social and economic standing at a global level. Tickets are available at:
HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS — SEPTEMBER 23, 2017 — The 6th Annual Red CARpet Safety Event was recently held at Sony Studios in Culver City. The annual Red CARpet Safety event is an engaging and educational way for parents and children to learn about car safety. Did you know that 4 out of 5 car seats are not properly installed? Many celebrity parents and influencers scoped out the event.
Celebrities in attendance included: Jamie Presley, Ali Landry, Marla Sokoloff, Tammin Sursok, Ali Fedotowsky, Essense Adkins, Amy Davidson, Megan King Edmonds, Catherine McCord, Kathleen Robertson, Rusty Joiner, Courtney Friel, Shiri Appleby, Kristine Lazar, and more!
The event had tons of brand activations including City Moms . This exciting new app allows parents to explore local offerings for child care, classes, and local family fun.
Also in attendance was Kinder Ready, Inc., the leading provider in supplemental education in the Santa Monica/West LA area. Kinder Ready provides one on one learning in home or in the company’s new Brentwood office. Founder Elizabeth Fraley, M.Ed. and the Kinder Ready team offer assessments, one on one learning, drop in weekend care, and academic summer camps. Kinder Ready™ is a specialized program designed for 3-5 year olds. Elementary Wise is designed to enhance learning for ages 6 to 12. Kinder Ready’s teaching staff is familiar and trained in various educational philosophies (Bank Street, Waldorf, Reggio Emilio, Montessori, etc.) which make it a great well-rounded program to check out!
Co-founder, Jennifer Gardner’s new organic food line, Once Upon A Farm, was also at the recent event. The brand was founded on the idea of providing yummy and nutritious “farm-to-family” foods to kids of all ages.
At the event, car seat safety demonstrations on Diono Pacificas, Radians and Rainiers car seats were available. A “coaster area” little ones to learn about activity safety with Step2 Xtreme Coasters and Up & Down Coasters. Don’t forget your helmet! Step2 also provided a play zone play houses, kitchens, and floor activities.
Were already gearing up for next years event in 2018!
The much anticipated horror film, “Blood Runs Thick,”which stars legendary actor Tom Sizemore,will have it’s world premiere on October 31st, appropriately on Halloween, at the Beverly Hills Fine Arts Theater at 6pm.
Rising to prominence in the 90s, Sizemore has starred in iconic films such as ‘Saving Private Ryan’ ‘Natural Born Killers’ ‘Heat’ ‘Blackhawk Down’ ‘True Romance’ and ‘Point Break’ and many others. This film has a wonderful ensemble cast consisting of Emmy winning soap stars Matthew Ashford and Judi Evans, Emily Killian, Alexander Man, Brooklyn Robinson, Isaac Rhino, Aaron Doh, with special appearances by Lilian Lev, Anjelika Kaufman-Joyce-JP Joyce, ,Ewart Chin, Karra Mane, and Carolyn Dupree.
“Blood Runs Thick” is about Vikki (Killian), a beautiful young woman, who struggles with frightening hallucinations and a crumbling mental state after her husband goes missing.
This compelling film was produced by Lucky strike Films studio LLC. This film was directed by noted filmmaker Romane Simon and written by Simon and Rhonnie Fordham, who has collaborated with Simon before.
“It was great working with Tom Sizemore , he is one of my favorite actors and to be on the same set with him and directing him was truly a great experience,” said Simon.
Romane Antoine Simon, is also the author of best selling novel (Red to Black-The Power of Love). He’s a thriving young filmmaker from Haiti. He was determined to get to the place where he could paint his own screen stories and images he hungered for the world to know about.
Romane finally arrived in Hollywood & quickly made himself known among others who had a similar passion for film which resulted in a new world of cinematic magic. His dream took root & before he knew it, he was yelling ACTION! And his successful film-making journey began.
This was only a few years ago and Romane has continually directed feature films with big stars making the industry feel his artistic power and passion for story-telling on a grand scale.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Artists For Trauma models Michael Kors at In Store Fashion Show at Macy’s Topanga
Sunday, September 17th from 2 pm -4 pm, Artists For Trauma (AFT) in conjunction with the upscale Macy’s Topanga and the noted Michael Kors line will present a fashion show with AFT adaptive models.
“These six chosen models are adored by their community and are not only gorgeous, but physically and mentally strong, having persevered through life challenges that most of us will never know.” – Laura T. Sharpe, Artists For Trauma Founder and CEO.
WHO: Numerous celebrities and VIPs expected at this event such as Laura T. Sharpe, the founder of Artists for Trauma, AFT model and celebrated actor Ford Austin (Live By Night, Bosch), his wife, Emmy award-winning producer Lauree Dash (The Doctors, Access Hollywood), actress and fashion blogger Vida Ghaffari (The Mindy Project, Holy Terror, So Very Vida), noted filmmaker Massimiliano Cerchi (Mayday, The Night Shift), Chanel Ryan (The Late Late Show with James Cordon, Dead Sea) other AFT models such as noted artist Richard Bell, Tobias Forrest, actress Mia Schaikewitz (Push Girls), actress Vanessa Osman and Janelle Hinshaw. Also in attendance are actors James Cavlo (Raising Hope, Carly), Tatyana Figueiredo (Suicide Squad, The Business), Casey Burke (The Middle, 20th Cen- tury Women), Joey Lutheran (The Long Road Home, Modern Family), Kacey Fifield (Game Shakers, React to That), Siaki Si’l (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Austin and Ally), Kiana Lyz Rivera (Major Crimes, The Immigrant), Kendall Monroe, Entertainment attorney Nadia Davari, Founder and CEO of The World Networks Lousine Karibian and Social Media Influencer Ilmar Molder.
WHEN: September 17th,
press check-in 12:30pm
red carpet 1-2pm fashion show 2-4
WHERE: Macy’s Topanga, 21900 Vanowen St, Canoga Park, CA 91304
PARKING: Free parking at Topanga MALL ATTIRE: Upscale Casual
Artists For Trauma, founded by trauma survivor Laura Sharpe in 2011, was inspired by her personal journey to recovery from life altering trauma. Sharpe connected with the world of art as a source of healing from her near-mortal wounds. AFT reveals and shares the blueprint of Sharpe’s astonishing re- covery to help other civilian and military trauma survivors positively reconnect with themselves, their families and their communities.
The AFT organization aims to expedite recovery through artistic expression and human connection, providing a creative portal to help patients process complex emotions, regain confidence and build self- acceptance after suffering a traumatic experience.
Macy’s, established in 1858, is the Great American Department Store – an iconic retailing brand over 740 stores operating coast-to-coast and online. Macy’s Westfield Topanga Plaza offers a first class se- lection of top fashion brands including Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Clinique, Estee Lauder & Levis. In addition to shoes and clothing, Macy’s has a wide variety of housewares, gifts and furniture.
Macy’s will also have a VIP sale that day from 2-4pm with an extra 30% off on designers that rarely go on sale and 15% off any beauty purchase with your Macy’s card.
Michael Kors is a world-renowned, award-winning designer of luxury accessories and ready-to-wear. His namesake company, established in 1981, currently produces a range of products under his signa- ture Michael Kors Collection and MICHAEL Michael Kors labels. These products include accessories, footwear, watches, jewelry, men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, eyewear and a full line of fragrance products.
Acclaimed and prolific production company Lucky Strike Films has just launched the much anticipated Lucky Strike Film Festival. Besides giving filmmakers the opportunity to have their movies premiered before enthusiastic audiences, the Lucky Strike Film Festival will also host an awards show, complete with a snazzy red carpet event and after party! This epic event will take place on September 21st-23rd, with the awards ceremony on September 22nd at the Regency Valley Plaza 6 Theatre in North Hollywood.
In addition to the exposure, the winners for Best Film will also receive a distribution deal through Lucky Strike Productions.
This is a wonderful opportunity for films of all genres and filmmakers of all backgrounds. This festival will truly be a home for indie filmmakers and a new voice for artists, which will allow for their talent to emerge.
This innovative festival was founded by multi award-winning filmmaker Romane Simon. Asked why he created his own festival in addition to writing, directing and producing countless films and being a highly regarded author, Simon said, “it feels really good knowing that I created a platform for creative fellow filmmakers to showcase their work for a broad audience.”
Simon, himself, has an interesting background. As the Grandson of Haiti’s Former President, he was born and raised in Haiti, where he began his filmmaking career. He moved many miles from home to the United States to continue and expand his dreams in the entertainment industry, by embarking upon several more projects. Simon currently works as a screenplay writer, actor, fight choreographer, stuntman, dancer, and even model. Simon is also a great MMA fighter with a record of 9-2-3. His most recent film Hybristophilia stars Quinton Aaron from the Blind Side, Sadie Katz from Wrong Turn 6, Jenna Willis from the People Vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, Iyad Hajjaj from Madam Secretary and many others.
Fataneh Lafleur is the festival manager, Robyn Carmona is the festival coordinator, and Nicole Alexis is a board member. Honorees this year are actors Quinton Aaron (The Blind Side), Emmy winner Patrika Darbo (Days of Our Lives) , Iyad Hajjaj (Madam Secretary), Walter E. Jones, Grammy nominated artist Stephanie Spruil and Emmy nominated artist Shane Sparks.
MODA 360, an innovative exhibit of international art, fashion and film, presents a special event benefitting the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens’ conservation program and celebrating the Zoo’s 50th anniversary August 1, 2017, 3 to 9 pm, at The New Mart in Downtown L.A.
Incorporating exhibits and live presentations by international fashion designers, artists and filmmakers, Moda 360 encourages collaborations between the three creative industries. The 2017 edition of Moda 360 shines the spotlight on sustainability and the importance of preserving the habitats and inhabitants of our planet. A unique feature is “A Walk on the Wild Side,” a sustainable runway fashion show with creations by artists and designers reflecting the species, habitats and conservation projects championed by the L.A. Zoo.
“Moda 360 will be a more intimate event this year to focus on the important issue of environmental stewardship and support the Zoo’s international programs,” says Debora Pokallus, producer of Moda 360. “Preserving our environment has become even more critical today and it’s important to raise awareness and support organizations that do this important work.”
Proceeds from this event support the L.A. Zoo’s new Species Conservation Action Network (SCAN), including a dedicated Curator of Conservation whose sole focus will be to identify and respond to urgent animal conservation issues around the world. The L.A. Zoo dedicates funds, expertise, and staff to a wide variety of conservation projects all over the globe, with a special focus on those that target wild counterparts of animals in their collection. While the reach is global, two of its greatest conservation successes have been local in nature: the California Condor Recovery Plan and the Peninsular Pronghorn Recovery Plan, both restoring populations of critically endangered animals to their native habitats. The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments,
According to GLAZA President Connie Morgan, “As the Zoo celebrates 50 years of leadership in exceptional animal welfare and its role as a key player in major conservation projects that protect animal species from extinction, GLAZA’s Board of Trustees builds upon five decades of major support for the Zoo and looks ahead to the next 50 by funding SCAN’s Curator of Conservation position into the future.”
L.A. Zoo Director John Lewis says, “The Zoo, with its decades of institutional knowledge and scientific expertise, will utilize SCAN to build solutions and connect the best people and programs, inside and outside the zoo profession, to act in a coordinated effort to address pressing and critical species survival issues. The Zoo may not be the Ark but we are shipbuilders!”
Moda 360 promises an eclectic and entertaining program representing three creative industries and presenting the ideas, inspiration, and ethics that drive the independent artist, designer and filmmaker forward in their work. Showing the best of contemporary creation, Moda 360 gives a look behind the art to show the contribution these talented exhibitors offer the commercial and cultural market.
Moda 360 will also screen fashion videos from international filmmakers, and premiere a video homage of LA fashion by Lucinda Luuvas.
CE Jordan will perform her all-too-true tales of modeling in LA and NY in “A Model Life,” a journey down the runway of life. Jordan is a former model and professional storyteller who will share reflections from her modeling career in the 1970s, weaving anecdotes about the many personalities she encountered in her work: Karl Lagerfeld, Gianni Versace, Andy Warhol, Michaele Vollbracht, Bill Blass, Givenchy. She has entertained audiences throughout Los Angeles with her warmth and wit, offering a fascinating look at life during fashion’s heyday. Wielding her signature combination of storytelling, music, dance, and an imaginative use of props, this versatile writer/performer will kick up her high heels in this model bash for the ageless. “A Model Life” performance is at 3 pm (seating begins at 2:45).
A screening of “Strangers in a Book,” written by Pedram Navab and directed by Marc Rezvani, takes place at 4 pm (seating begins at 3:45). The film follows Sara in actress (and HPC’s own) Vida G’s (The Mindy Project, Mind of Mencia) dramatic debut, a hip and melancholic Iranian-American, who finds a misplaced book in a café. Intrigued by its contents, but unable to find the owner, she decides to interview the people in the notebook to decipher the identity of the mysterious man. The strangers whom she meets, considered the dregs of society, tell Sara stories about the enigmatic owner of the book, who is considered both diabolical and kind. In her relentless pursuit of the ultimate stranger, Sara is thus plunged into the horror of the unknown, where reality merges with art, and where existence itself is questioned. The film has also received 7 nominations at the prestigious Film Festival in San Diego and won Best Guerrilla Film at the popular Action on Film (AOF) Festival in Monrovia, California and the noted Finow Film and Script Festival in Eberswalde, Germany.Vida Ghaffari will introduce the film.
“A Walk on the Wild Side,” which takes place at 5:30 pm (seating begins at 5:15 pm, is a sustainable runway show of fashions by ethical designers from three continents to show that sustainability is vibrant and creative. It features the work of Atelier Tammam, a London couture house of 100% vegan and ethical fashion whose designs have graced the red carpet at the BAFTA awards; Juan Pablo Martinez, a collection fusing sustainability, fine tailoring and rock and roll from Bogata Colombia who began his career in the atelier of Christian LaCroix; designer Lucy Tammam, a fierce advocate of sustainable fashion who has been a force in the ethical fashion movement for over a decade; and LA’s own Deborah Lindquist who has spent 30 years designing eclectic, and striking fashion from reclaimed, recycled and sustainable materials. A special feature of the runway will be unique creations by artists and designers reflecting the species, habitats and conservation projects championed by the L.A. Zoo. These exceptional designers will hit the runway to support the L.A. Zoo and will be joined by other talented artists and designers creating one of a kind surprises that reflect the animals, habitats and conservation programs the L.A. Zoo champions. A team of hair and makeup artists from TNT Agency will create looks with a touch of the jungle.
Moda 360 celebrates the innovation and creativity of designers and artists and welcomes exciting new innovations and ideas. Returning to Moda 360, Philadelphia designer Machele Nettles will show her latest Idol-Light collection of prism jewelry made from reclaimed optical glass. These sleek and modern designs refract light, making not just a fashion statement, but demonstrating the wonders of science. Machele is creating a special piece for the Zoo runway design challenge. Vanessa Wishart from Toronto, Ontario, is a fashion artist, designer and costumer for theater, films and music tours. Internationally known for her ability to take the most banal items and transform it into wearable art, she creates fashion items from currency and is showing her latest Luut collection at Moda 360. Kor?áta from Guatemala, are high-quality ethical fashion products handwoven by Guatemalan artisans. The bright, colorful ties and wallets reflect the culture and spirit of the native artisans. Moda 360 welcomes returning artist Andrea Bogdan who will again live paint during the event. Andrea will debut an art and fashion collaboration on the runway to support the Zoo. The U.K. feminist art organization FiLiArt is organizing a special exhibition to make the statement that preserving our world is a feminist issue. Photographer Jenna Amaya also returns to Moda to show her expressive studies of exploration of human form and body art. Mark Campana joins fellow Philadelphian Machele Nettles showing his beautiful paintings of the historical architecture in his hometown. These creators will be joined by a growing roster of designers and artists.
Bel Essence the natural skincare and certified cruelty-free company, returns as sponsor of Moda 360 for this special event.
The New Mart is located at 127 E. 9th Street, 3rd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90015.
ABOUT BEL ESPRIT – The Bel Esprit Showroom showcases international designers of ethical fashion, and the sister showroom, Showroom International, presents the collections of international independent designers. The showrooms offer 30 years of industry experience identifying and assisting the needs of both designers and retailers to facilitate a strong business relationship, and partner with international fashion industry organizations and events to give independent designers maximum exposure. Bel Esprit promotes ethical principles through education to designers, retailers and consumers, and through a number of global initiatives works to create and develop more ethical resources for the fashion industry. Learn more at www.BelEsprit.net.
ABOUT THE NEW MART – The New Mart Building, a registered Los Angeles historical landmark located in the center of Downtown LA’s fashion district, is home to 100+ showrooms representing hundreds of top lines. With both high profile and cutting edge showrooms, The New Mart is the most sought-after venue for wholesale fashion buyers from around the world. Learn more at www.newmart.net.
ABOUT BEL ESSENCE – Bel Essence is a natural skincare collection based on a simple idea: give skin the nutrition it needs to heal, regenerate and rejuvenate itself. Bel Essence combines natural and organic oils that are the richest sources of vitamins, antioxidants, omega 3’s and fatty acids, the essential components for healthy, youthful skin. Bel Essence gives skin what nature intended and selects and combines oils with beneficial properties to maximize results without harmful chemicals and colorings. Natural oils, known for their skin health benefits, are combined to treat and nourish skin giving both instant improvement and long-term transformation. Learn more at www.belessence.com.
ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES ZOO – The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens marks its 50th anniversary with a yearlong “ZooLAbration” that began on November 28, 2016, which is the 50th anniversary of the opening at its current location. Throughout the 50th anniversary year, the Zoo spotlights not only its key role as a world-class destination and an important community asset but also its critical successes in conservation, quality of life and premier care for animals. Having recently completed a $172 million master plan which significantly improved the Zoo facility, the Zoo now embarks upon developing a new Master Plan, which will serve as a road map for the future. The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing nearly 1.8 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered, as well as a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. Its responsibility toward wildlife conservation not only encompasses safeguarding the animals in its care but also actively participating in the preservation of some of the world’s most critically endangered species and their habitats. The Zoo’s many conservation successes include having led the charge in saving California condors from extinction and restoring populations of these critically endangered animals to their native habitats.
On Saturday, May 20th, legendary actors and martial artists Aki Aleong and Mel Novak will be inducted into the prestigious USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame at their gala in Fullerton, CA. This Hall of Fame was founded by Grandmaster Jim Thomas, Ph.D./D.Sc./Ma.Dsc.
Dr. Thomas is a 10th degree grand master and is recognized as one of 20 worldwide. He has been active in the martial arts field for over half a century. In addition to serving as the head coach for Team USA, he was inducted into 6 various martial arts ‘Hall of Fame’ institutions and listed in ‘Who’s – Who’ in the world of Martial Arts. Grandmaster Thomas has won over 200 awards and trophies and served in the U.S. Air Force for 7 years during the Vietnam Evacuation Era. He was a former athlete for the USA World Class Competition Team and has appeared in over 8 Martial Arts Motions pictures.
The U.S.A. Martial Arts ‘Hall of Fame’ “Hall of Heroes” was originally created in 1976 by Grand Master Robert Trias, the first man to open a martial arts school in the U.S. In its beginning it was very small in nature and was done spontaneously at various Martial Arts functions. Grandmaster Thomas and Mike Day were called upon to orchestrate this function into what it is today. Even with the passing of Grandmaster Trias and Day, Thomas has kept this event alive himself and includes new exciting things each and every year! This event actually spans three days from May 19th to May 21st with seminars and classes and the gala being on the 20th. Celebrities in attendance at the gala are Kathy Long, Art Camacho, Olivier Gruner and many more. Martial Artist and stand-up comic Mark Hoadley will be opening the gala with his unique style of stand-up comedy. Sifu Hoadley is a 3 time Hall of Fame inductee and last year’s Alliance inductee. Mark frequently performs at The World Famous Comedy Store, The Ice House and the Clown House.
Iconic martial artist Aki Aleong has starred in over 50 feature films and 150 TV shows. He has starred in films opposite the likes of Frank Sinatra Jr., Nick Nolte, Christian Slater, Marlon Brando, Faye Dunaway, Joanne Woodward, Ben Kingsley, Ernest Borgnine, Martin Landau, Roger Moore, Peter Lawford, Olivia Hussey, and Pierce Brosnan. He has served on the National Board of the Screen Actors Guild, appointed National Chair of SAG’S EEOC and was a member of the President’s Diversity/Affirmative Action Task Force.Aki’s legendary career started on Broadway in “Teahouse of the August Moon” and “The Interview.” He is probably best known for portraying Senator Hidoshi during the first season of Babylon 5, as well as portraying Mr. Chiang, the aide to Nathan Bates in the weekly series of V: The Series. He also portrayed the character of Colonel Mitamura in Farewell to the King and starred in Missing in Action Part 3 Opposite Chuck Norris and The Quest opposite Jean Claude Van Damme and Roger Moore. Aleong recently starred opposite Jean Claude Van Damme again in Pound of Flesh and just guest starred in an episode of the three time Peabody nominated Suspense show opposite Torohu Masamune (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).
Martial arts legend Mel Novak is best known as the iconic Stick the Assassin in Bruce Lee’s final film Game of Death. He has starred in more than 60 feature films opposite the likes of icons such as Steve McQueen, Yul Brenner, Chuck Norris, David Carradine, Rosie O’Donnell, Dan Ackroyd and many others. He has been bestowed with numerous awards for his acting work as well as humanitarian awards. He has been volunteering on Skid Row for over 30 years and has counseled prisoners at the most dangerous prisons in the country and has also volunteered with the Special Olympics. More recently, he starred in Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance, #1 grossing indie martial arts action movie of 2015. Mel also starred in the recently released Sony Pictures’ Checkpoint, opposite William Forsythe, Bill Goldberg, Fred “The Hammer” Williamson and Kenny Johnson. Mel also starred in the much buzzed about Holy Terror opposite Kristine DeBell (Meatballs, The Big Brawl) and Vida Ghaffari (The Mindy Project, Jimmy Kimmel Live).
The Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics (“SBMT”), Brain Mapping Foundation (“BMF”), and the National Center for NanoBioElectonics (“NCNBE”) held their 14th Annual World Brain Mapping and Therapeutics Conference at the swanky Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. SBMT was founded in 2004 to break boundaries in healthcare and to promote global interdisciplinary research to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of patients with central nervous system diseases and disorders. I was unable to attend, but was so impressed with the mission of this foundation that I was compelled to write a post and here it is.
“This year, there are 320 speakers and 12 keynote speakers who addressed state-of-the-art brain science and technology, and pioneering diagnostics therapeutics for Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, brain and spinal trauma, brain cancer, psychiatric disorders, the Autism spectrum, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”), as well as all other neurological disorders,” said Dr. Wes Ashford, Clinical Professor of Stanford University (affiliated), Director of The War Related Illness & Injury Study Center at the VA Palo Alto HCS and the 14th President of SBMT (2016-17). “This year, several sessions of the conference will focus on translation, integration and development of advanced diagnostics and therapeutics for soldiers, veterans and civilians with neurological disorders.”
Annually, the Society and the Brain Mapping Foundation recognizes pioneers in the field of brain mapping and therapeutics with distinguished awards. The Brain Mapping Foundation is holding its “Gathering for the Cure” black tie gala on Thursday, April 20th at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel to celebrate pioneering work of some of the world’s leading scientists, technologists, policymakers, and science advocates.
“We had a very competitive pool of applicants this year who are truly remarkable individuals as people and pioneers in their respective fields for which they were selected,” said Dr. Vicky Yamamoto, USC-Keck School of Medicine Cancer Scientist, Executive Director of SBMT, Member of the Board of Brain Mapping Foundation and Co-chair of the Award Committee. “We are truly delighted to recognize the contributions of these colleagues to the field of clinical neuroscience.”
Dr. Peter Diamandis, Chairman of XPrize, is the keynote speaker at the Brain Mapping Foundation “Gathering for Cure” gala who will be speaking about global innovation.
“SBMT and its science committee includes over 80 scientists that have built this program over the last 16 months”, said the 2018 President Elect of SBMT, Dr. Warren Boling, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Loma Linda University (“LLU”). He added “LLU, City of Hope, and Cedars Sinai Medical Center co-sponsored this world class scientific program for its Continuing Medical education (“CME”) accreditation.”
This remarkable scientific program is supported by industry leaders including: Fiagon, Fulgent Diagnostics, Space Bio-Laboratories Co., Ltd, Siemens Healthcare, Medtronic, Codman, Stryker, KLS Martin, Ad-Tech, Zeiss, Anatom-e, Nordic Neuro Lab (“NNL”), Synaptive Medical, Integra , PMT Corporation, HarleQuin Recruiting, Med Valley Home Healthcare Inc, Jupiter 9 Production, CariCord, Neurotrope BioScience, California Neurosurgical Institute, Nuvasive, the Law office of Nadia Davari, Planet Street Digital Marketing, Apex Photo Studios, Keri Ann Kimball of Kimball Entertainment, Joe Williamson of Williamson Management, SoVeryVida and Neuronavigation Dinamics.
The scientific program of 2017 SBMT annual meeting has 320 speakers and 12 keynote speakers including Congressman Jerry McNerney, Space Traveler and Engineer Anousheh Ansari, Drs. Gary Small (UCLA), Laligam Sekhar (UW), George Ojemann (UW), Mark Humayun (USC), Wes Ashford (Stanford/VA Palo Alto HCS), Warren Boling (LLU), Kyu Rhee (IBM Watson Health), Dean Yamaguchi (Department of Veterans Affair), and RADM Colin Chinn (Defense Health Agency).
“The Brain Mapping Foundation has been on the forefront of wounded warrior care for 14 years by bringing together world leading scientists” said Ret. Navy Commander Dr. Ken Green. “We have engaged NASA centers, NASA Human Health and Performance, National Labs, Departments of Energy, Commerce, State, Defense, Navy, Army, Air Force, and Defense Health Agency, in our G20 Global Brain Mapping Initiative (Neuroscience-20) aimed at rapidly introducing diagnostics and therapeutics in the field.”
Many Hollywood celebrities including: Tim Kring, Jim Kwik, Matthew Rhodes, Charlie Corwin, James Hong, Kate Linder, Hank Garrett, Mel Novak, Aki Aleong, Navid Negahban, Ken Davitian, Eden Sassoon, Gary Graham, Jimmy Jean-Louis, James Kyson, Dru Mouser, Sophia Milos, Vida Ghaffari, Alison Arngrim, Jarrod Bunch, Max Amini, NFL player Alec Ogletree, Andrew Jang, Tony Denison, Rachel Sterling of Pussycat Dolls, Shanica Knowles, Sean Kanan, Apick Youssefian, Mary Apick, fashion designer Sue Wong, and entrepreneur and publisher Miguel R. Forbes were in attendance at the “Gathering for Cure” gala.
For more information about the “Gathering for Cure” gala registration and donation to the foundation please visit: www.BrainMappingFoundation.Org and for more information about the Society and convention registration for the 14th Annual World Brain Mapping Conference and Gala please visit: www.WorldBrainMapping.Org