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  • Friday, Apr. 3, 2020
David Rubin, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is giving $6 million to help film industry employees out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The film academy, which puts on the annual Academy Awards, said Friday that it will donate $2 million to the Actors Fund, which supports performers and behind-the-scenes workers; $2 million to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, the long-running nonprofit offering relief to members of the entertainment community in need; and $2 million to the Academy Foundation, its own charitable arm.

“As we face a pandemic, it’s incumbent upon us to help those in the motion picture community who are suffering,” said David Rubin, Academy president, said in a statement. “The shutting down of productions, businesses and theaters has had devastating consequences. By contributing financially to The Actors Fund, MPTF, and the Academy Foundation’s wonderful grants program, we can help provide our extended More

  • Friday, Apr. 3, 2020

Feedback from small businesses on day one of their being able to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program--part of the $2 trillion relief package (the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, aka CARES Act) recently signed into federal law--has been marked by frustration and disbelief over obstacles they are encountering, including at Bank of America.

Owners whose businesses that are customers of Bank of America (BofA) Banking Services and merchant services are finding that their entry of online application is not being accetped at this critical early stage as they’ve been informed that priority is going to those who have credit lines or business loans with BofA; in other words, those that owe money to BofA are being put first in line while other debt-free once stable businesses are not allowed to apply. This has been interpreted by a number of customers as serving the bank’s interest through federal money that has been earmarked to More

  • Thursday, Apr. 2, 2020
Chris Sloan (l) and Carla Kaufman Sloan

Caleb & Calder Sloan’s Awesome Foundation--the charity of Chris Sloan and Carla Kaufman Sloan, founders of 2C Creative, a creative agency and production company serving the TV/streaming business with promos, brand integrations, trailers, upfront presentations and other campaigns--has initiated a campaign that will match individual donations (up to $250 each) to charities supporting first responders, organizations and those affected by COVID-19.

So far, the Foundation’s COVID-19 Has Met Its Match campaign has raised some $50,000 and counting. While the initial deadline date for people to participate was April 6, this has now been extended to April 13.  

Click here (and scroll down) for more info on the Met Its Match program and to get a list of charities the Awesome Foundation has vetted and donated to--or donors can choose their own related charities. People can double More

  • Thursday, Apr. 2, 2020
In this Feb. 9, 2020, file photo, Leonardo DiCaprio arrives at the Oscars in Los Angeles. DiCaprio is helping to launch the $12 million America’s Food Fund aimed at helping low-income families, the elderly and those whose jobs have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Among those teaming up for the launch are philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, Apple and the Ford Foundation. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Leonardo DiCaprio will help launch America's Food Fund, which has already raised $12 million to help communities impacted by the coronavirus. 

The organization said Thursday that the funds will be aimed to help low-income families, the elderly, individuals facing job disruptions and children who rely on school lunch programs.

The food fund will work with hunger relief organizations World Central Kitchen and Feeding America.

DiCaprio serves as a co-founder of America's Food Fund with philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs. Apple and the Ford Foundation are also providing money to help launch the new initiative.

"In the face of this crisis, organizations like World Central Kitchen and Feeding America have inspired us all with their unwavering commitment to feed the most vulnerable people in need," DiCaprio said in a statement. "I thank them for their tireless work on the frontlines, they deserve all of our support."

The new More

  • Wednesday, Apr. 1, 2020
This image released by Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures shows characters, from left, Kevin, Gru, voiced by Steve Carell and Stuart in a scene from "Minions: The Rise of Gru." Universal Pictures said Thursday, March 19, 2020, that the animated film will not be completed by July 3 due to circumstances surrounding the coronavirus. (Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures via AP)

"Wicked" fans are going to have to wait even longer to see Stephen Daldry's film adaptation of the popular Broadway musical. Universal Pictures on Wednesday announced that another handful of theatrical release dates are shifting due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has bumped "Wicked" off the calendar entirely for the moment. 

The studio said that "Minions: The Rise of Gru," which was unable to be finished for its planned summer 2020 release because of the outbreak, is being pushed back a year to July 2021. "Sing 2" will now come out on "Wicked's" original date of December 22, 2021.

Hollywood studios have been scrambling to revise business plans amid the pandemic, which has closed theaters nationwide and halted productions indefinitely. The summer movie season has already taken a hit, with the recent postponements of "Wonder Woman 1984,"  "F9" and "Ghostbusters: Afterlife."  And a handful of films have been taken off the calendar More

  • Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2020
This May 15, 2019 file photo shows CNN news anchor Chris Cuomo at the WarnerMedia Upfront in New York. Cuomo has announced that he has tested positive for the coronavirus. The prime-time host is one of the most visible media figures to come down with the disease. He said he's experienced chills, fever and shortness of breath. He promised to continue doing his show while in quarantine in the basement of his home. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

CNN's Chris Cuomo announced Tuesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus but promised to continue doing his prime-time show from the basement of his home.

Cuomo, who looked a little pale while doing his 9 p.m. Eastern show remotely Monday, said he's had fever, chills and shortness of breath.

"I just hope I didn't give it to the kids and Cristina," the 49-year-old newsman tweeted, in a reference to his wife.

Cuomo's older brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has been one of the most visible political figures during the pandemic, and appeared on his brother's show via remote link on Monday.

The governor discussed his younger brother during his daily press briefing Tuesday morning, using it as a cautionary tale. He noted that he had scolded Chris for having their 88-year-old mother, Matilda, visiting Chris' home two weeks ago.

"It's my family, it's your family, it's all of our families," he said. "This virus is More

  • Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2020
"Prairie Wind"

Prairie Pictures cinematographer and StormStock founder Martin Lisius was awarded “Best Cinematography” honors at this month’s International Innovation Film Festival in Bern, Switzerland. The award was presented for his short film Prairie Wind, which he shot and produced on 16K video. The film features storms he captured over a three-month period in America’s “Tornado Alley” region of the Great Plains. “Storms offer us a glimpse of what our world once was, and inspires us to protect and preserve what remains,” Lisius said.  “I wanted to create a medium as large as the sky. 16K offers the tremendous resolution depth needed to pull that off.”

Lisius shot the production utilizing a 16K camera system and workflow he developed. During postproduction, 12,000 stills were stitched together to create one 15,985 x 5792-pixel image using a Mac Pro workstation. Each shot required five days to prepare, with the computer running around the clock. More

  • Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2020
This notice posted on the Twitter account of Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister on Monday, March 30, 2020, seeks the public's help for new leads in the disappearance of Jack "Don" Lewis, the former husband of a big cat sanctuary owner featured in the new Netflix series “Tiger King.” Chronister posted that the popularity of the seven-part documentary made it a good time to ask for new leads in Lewis' 1997 disappearance. (Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister via AP)
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- 

A Florida sheriff is asking for new leads in the disappearance of the former husband of a big cat sanctuary owner featured in the new Netflix series "Tiger King."

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister posted on his personal Twitter  account Monday that the popularity of the seven-part documentary made it a good time to ask for new leads in the 1997 disappearance of Jack "Don" Lewis. He was married to Carole Baskin, who runs Big Cat Rescue near Tampa.

Lewis went missing shortly before a planned business trip to Costa Rica, investigators said shortly after his disappearance. His van was found near a Pasco County airport. Deputies searched the wildlife sanctuary he ran with his wife, but he was never found in Florida nor Costa Rica. 

"Tiger King" tells the story of an Oklahoma zookeeper named Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as "Joe Exotic," who was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison this year after being convicted in an More

  • Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2020
In this Nov. 19, 2018, file photo, Jason Reitman attends the 2018 Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film Honoring Hugh Jackman at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Goleta, Calif. Sony Pictures on Monday, March 30, 3030, cleared out its summer calendar due to the coronavirus, postponing the releases of Reitman's "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" and the Marvel movie "Morbius" to 2021. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Sony Pictures on Monday cleared out its summer calendar due to the coronavirus, postponing the releases of Jason Reitman's "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" and the Marvel movie "Morbius" to 2021. 

Hollywood's summer season — the film industry's most lucrative time of year — is increasingly shutting down because of the pandemic. Theaters nationwide have closed and major film productions have halted with no clear timeline for resuming. 

"Ghostbuster: Afterlife," set 30 years after "Ghostbusters II," had been scheduled for July 10, but it will now open March 5 next year. The Jared Leto-starring "Morbius," slated for July 31, will now be released March 19 next year. "Greyhound," a World War II drama starring Tom Hanks, is now to-be-determined instead of opening June 12. 

Last week, Warner Bros. postponed "Wonder Woman 1984"  to August instead of June, and undated its adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's "In the Heights." The Walt Disney Co. took More

  • Saturday, Mar. 28, 2020
This image released by Netflix shows Diego Tinoco, left, and Sierra Capri in a scene from "On My Block." The series is an honest portrayal of the realities young adults face growing up in inner-city Los Angeles, and critics have praised the comedy-drama's depiction of four bright, street-savvy friends with nuance and care. (Kevin Estrada/Netfli via AP)

Cast members of Netflix's "On My Block" say they feel honored to be able to represent teenagers who've long seen themselves portrayed as stereotypes. 

The show in its third season tells the story of a group of black and Latino teens navigating high school and the realities of growing up in inner-city Los Angeles. 

Critics have praised the comedy-drama for its nuance and care in depicting the four bright, street-savvy friends.

In a recent interview, the stars of the show said they feel a level of responsibility in the truth of their portrayals. That responsibility can be "terrifying," said actress Jessica Marie Garcia, who plays an annoying but lovable busy-body who just wants to be part of the cool kids. 

"We want to make sure that we do it right and that we don't let them down," Garcia said. "It's so rare that you get to see a cast like us in the same show that it's like, we just want to do it right and make them proud." More

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