Posted by Elena del Valle on March 31, 2017
Job Title: Senior Writer/Editor
Company Name: Harvard University
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, 02138
Harvard Kennedy School
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Posted by Elena del Valle on March 27, 2017
Poster for My Hero Brother
Photo, video: My Hero Brother
My Hero Brother, a heart-warming, 78-minute Israeli film in Hebrew with English subtitles completed June 2016, will be part of the 22 Annual Palm Beach Film Festival (visit pbifilmfest.org/event-calendar) taking place beginning March 29, 2017 in Palm Beach County, Florida. Scroll down to watch a trailer.
Happy and sad at the same time, the film is uplifting and inspiring. Filmed in India with a budget of $306,000 the movie shares the story of a group of remarkable young people with Down syndrome and their siblings who trek through the Indian Himalayas together. Along their journey unresolved conflicts and the complexities of growing up with a Down syndrome child in the family surface.
The idea germinated when Enosh Cassel, later a producer in the film, felt that his busy lifestyle was taking a toll because he wasn’t spending enough time with Hannan, his beloved Down syndrome brother. According to a spokesperson, “In 2011, the two embarked on a challenging trek in the Himalayas, in order to spend some much needed quality time together.” On their return, Cassel received requests from people who wanted to set out on a similar trek with their own Down syndrome sibling. On August 2013, after two years of planning and preparation, a group of 11 sibling couples (“neuro-typical” and Down syndrome) set on a journey to the Indian Himalayas, where My Hero Brother was filmed.
“In the course of the film, I hope that the viewer will undergo an experience that will change his way of looking at the main characters: not as ill-fated people who have been given a chance to experience a brief release from suffering, but rather as human beings blessed with qualities many of us yearn to have, struggling with their limitations in an highly admirable and courageous way, with the ability to open the hearts of those around them and turn them into better human beings,” the director states on the film website.
Yonatan Nir (Dolphin Boy) directed and produced by the film, which according to promotional information became an overnight success. In the first three months of distribution the producers booked 150 educational screenings in Israel, the film was accepted to several international film festivals, and won the Best Documentary Film Award and the Audience Choice Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
The filmmakers received funding from The Shalem Fund, Gesher Multicultural Film Fund, Mifal Hapais, Avi Chai Fund, and The Second Authority. In addition to the Film festival screening future information on where to view the movie may appear at myherobrother.org
Posted by Elena del Valle on March 22, 2017
Es Nuestro Momento poster – click image to enlarge
Photo, video: Buchanan’s
Hoping to connect with reggaeton music loving bicultural adult Latinos, 21 and older, who balance two cultures Buchanan’s, a Scottish whisky maker, partnered with SoundCloud to offer them the Es Nuestro Momento Feat. J Balvin contest campaign and competition. The contest ran March 6-20, 2017. The prize was a trip to the 2017 Latin Billboards in Miami and a chance to meet J Balvin in person. It included a microsite where participants could watch the Es Nuestro Momento video with Balvin singing a capella vocals of a new and unreleased track by the same name. To enter the contest, they were required to create their own version of the song including Balvin, and upload their version to the website for people to vote for their favorite version by April 7. Balvin will select the winner and announce his or her name via his Facebook page April 19. Scroll down to watch an Es Nuestro Momento campaign ad.
The contest was a segment of Buchanan’s integrated marketing campaign, which was promoted through out-of-home advertising, television spots, digital ads with dedicated responsible drinking creative, social media and experiential, in addition to this consumer contest. According to a spokesperson, the contest was “being amplified through PR, digital, social, and paid integrations including Nylon En Espanol, Telemundo, and Billboard.”
Balvin’s song, inspired by the brand’s recent 360 Es Nuestro Momento marketing campaign, was designed to celebrate the Latino community and its positive influence on American mainstream culture. A campaign spokesperson did not respond to a question about measurement of the contest results. According to a press release, “Through this contest, Buchanan’s aims to inspire people to pursue their passions and celebrate their successes.”
Born in Medellin, Colombia, J Balvin is a Latin-Grammy and Latin Billboard-winning musician. He became the first reggaeton artist to surpass one billion views on YouTube. He has collaborated with artists including Pharrell, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber. SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform where users may upload, record, promote, and share their original sounds.
Posted by Elena del Valle on March 16, 2017
Photo: Jean Chatzky courtesy of Ari Michaelson
In the last three decades, people are living longer in the United States. And the number of Americans 100 or older has increased 2,200 percent since 1950. At the same time, 84 percent of all healthcare spending is related to chronic diseases. But only 10 percent of people think about financial longevity. So say Jean Chatzky, Michael F. Roizen, MD with Ted Spiker, authors of AgeProof Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip (Grand Central Life & Style, $28) published last month. In the book, they share their opinions about physical and financial health and promise readers that “…if you take the steps we outline here, you’ll reduce your risk of developing chronic conditions, save more of those out-of-pocket and horrendous hospitalization costs, and live longer with fewer disabilities.”
Jean Chatzky,co-author, AgeProof
Chatzky and Roizen advocate regular physical and fiscal check-ups. For physicals they recommend self-tests and healthcare tests, including bone mineral density, prostate, mammogram, colonoscopy, mental health, rectal, eye, dental and other exams. On the fiscal side, they suggest reader assessments of income level, expenses, net worth, emergency savings, retirement, credit score, personal circumstances and changes. They point to economist Daniel Kahneman’s research as indicative that the benchmark income should be derived from the line between happiness and unhappiness, $75,000. The estimates outlined in the fiscal physical chapter are for people earning between $50,000 and $300,000.
In the Introduction, the authors offer to teach readers how to “make your money and good health last decades longer.” They were too busy to respond to questions by email, according to a spokesperson for their publishing company. A press release about the book, points to the authors’ belief in a crucial connection between health and wealth, and that the same principles that apply to a better body apply to an improved investment portfolio.
Michael F. Roizen, M.D.,co-author, Age-Proof
The 328-page hardcover book is divided into eight parts: System Checks, Breaking Bad Behavior, Pressure Situations, Team Works, Survival Instinct, Go Time, Making a Living, and Domestic Engineering, and 16 chapters. The chapters are written in an easy to read style with sidebar quotes from the authors.
Chatzky, a financial journalist, author and motivational speaker, is a financial expert on the Today Show. Roizen, a board-certified anesthesiologist and internist, served as chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic. He received the Paul. G. Rogers Best Medical Communicator award from the National Library of Medicine. Spiker, professor and chair, Department of Journalism at the University of Florida, is co-author of 20 books.
Click to buy AgeProof
Posted by Elena del Valle on March 9, 2017
The Ultimate Start-Up Guide
Photos: Ty Nowicki, Robin Bulanti
Silicon Valley marketers Tom Hogan and Carol Broadbent, founders, Crowded Ocean, recently released The Ultimate Start-Up Guide: Marketing Lessons, War Stories, And Hard-Won Advice From Leading Venture Capitalists And Angel Investors (Career Press, $16.99), a how-to book to help start-up companies succeed published this year. What do they know about start-ups and failure? During their initial year they made zero money. Ninety percent of new companies, they point out, fail within two years.
They explained by email that they wrote the book, their first, for “Anyone who is thinking of starting their own company—tech or otherwise; anyone thinking of getting involved in a startup; or anyone who wants to better understand how startups (and Silicon Valley) work.”
From concept to final galleys it took them one year to complete the book project. The 223-page softcover book, written in an easy to read candid style, is divided into 24 chapters. In the chapters, there are graphs to illustrate information or outline data and easy to see quotes from business people in gray boxes. At the end of each chapter there is a suggested reading list
The authors set out to incorporate lessons from dozens clients as well as venture capitalists and angel investors, to help entrepreneurs avoid the pitfalls that cause most start-ups to fold. They address strategies for hiring and building a team, culture, and values; how to pitch the company, secure funding, and distribute equity; best practices in launching a business and sustaining market momentum; and how they believe venture capitalist investors think, evaluate new companies, and advise entrepreneurs. Although in the first chapter they outline their firm belief in the importance of a sales driven marketing strategy, they also value public relations, Broadbent explained by email.
“As we tell our startup clients, PR is probably the highest ROI marketing investment you can make and a great source of lead generation,” she said. “That’s because editorial coverage of your company, product or service is perceived by would-be buyers as objective validation. In other words, favorable coverage of your startup in the places where your prospects go (trade press, social media, blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, you name it) will go a long way to shaping the perception of your brand, motivate buyers to find you and hopefully to become your customer. That’s why for 100 percent of our startup clients, we have made PR an ingredient in their marketing program mix.”
Carol Broadbent and Tom Hogan, authors, The Ultimate Start-Up Guide
“A startup can be an idea seeking traction (from early funders), an early-stage company (friends and founders money) or a company that has received its first round of funding,” they said. “Another way to define it is: any company that has yet to find its rhythm in the market (no matter its age).”
When asked about the greatest challenge the book presented they replied, “The challenge, as you’d guess, given our workload (3 clients at a time and it’s just the two of us) and the pace of Silicon Valley, was finding the time to write the book. And to get the participation of past clients and VCs who are as busy as us. The reward has been in the early reviews, not just from strangers who have read the book and commented on it but from clients (and possible new clients) who contact us and tell us how much they learned in reading the book. (Note: it’s not that we’ve discovered something new or unique—it’s that we package and present it in practical ways that they can use in their daily operations.”
Prior to founding Crowded Ocean, Broadbent was vice president of corporate marketing at Bay Networks, senior vice president of corporate marketing at Aspect Communications, and director of marketing at Sun Microsystems. In addition, she led marketing at two Kleiner Perkins-funded startups: vice president of marketing at Asera, and director of market development at Go Corporation.
Hogan has more than 25 years of marketing experience, including roles as vice president of marketing at Oracle, Borland, Lucent, and VitalSigns Software. As Oracle’s original creative director, he managed the global advertising, direct marketing, seminar and trade show, and creative departments.
Click to buy The Ultimate Start-Up Guide
Posted by Elena del Valle on March 1, 2017
The Defenders of Life poster
Photos by Julio Costantini © 2015 Popcorn & Friends, video clips used with permission © 2015 Popcorn & Friends
In 2015, film director Dana Ziyasheva and her four person team completed Defenders of Life, a 94-minute film in three languages, Ngabere, Spanish, and English, about underage marriage among the Ngäbe people of Costa Rica. Much of the dialogue is in Ngabere or Spanish with English subtitles. It was titled after Defenders of Life, an ancient Ngäbe sacred song celebrating the tribe’s respect for and symbiotic relationship with nature, ancestors and fertility. The film is available exclusively at Flix Premiere, an online video on demand service. Scroll down to watch video clips from the movie with subtitles.
Defenders of Life, a fiction film about real life issues, was born out of the real-life friendship between Carmen, a Ngäbe matriarch, and the director while she was a guest at Carmen’s house. During that time they discussed Carmen’s life and her hopes and fears for her daughters and granddaughters. Much of the film was shot on Ngäbe land and featuring Ngäbe.
“We both wanted to give voice to the voiceless, leaving a proud testimony of her ancient civilization under threat and show the place and challenges of women in this culture,” Ziyasheva said in a press release. “We both wanted it to be aesthetic and allegorical. Carmen’s story is my story too. I was afraid to break away from my society in defiance of the decision-makers of my country. I was equally afraid to leave the comfort and security of the United Nations. It doesn’t matter how good or bad a life situation is, people fear the unknown. To make audiences around the world relate to a story of an indigenous woman lost in a rainforest was my goal as film director in this project.”
Defenders of Life tells the story of Esmeralda, a Ngäbe indigenous girl who lives on a reservation in Costa Rica. Esmeralda’s grandmother Carmen raises her alone because the girl’s mother was murdered by her jealous boyfriend. In the movie, as in real life, when a Ngäbe girl reaches puberty, she becomes eligible for marriage, as is the custom of the tribe. When the village elder asks for her hand in marriage, Carmen must decide whether Esmeralda should follow in the footsteps of Ngäbe women or break away from the tradition and long term from the community.
During the filming of Defenders of Life
“We had a script, but since the Ngäbe actors playing their own roles were all non-professionals, most of whom don’t know how to read, we relied a lot on rehearsals and improvisation. I wanted the film to go beyond the ethnographic clichés. We show that Ngäbes are multi-layered, with contradictions, and made of good things and bad things like everyone else. But most of all, they are authentic, true to themselves and they don’t get intimidated by outside pressure,” said Ziyasheva.
In the film, Pamela, an anthropologist from the University of Costa Rica, and her son Feb, an American tween, advocate different approaches to the dilemma of an indigenous people’s society. Through his friendship with Esmeralda, Feb becomes part of tribal dynamic, while well-meaning Pamela aims to force her notion of development on the Ngäbe. Most of the filming took place in the indigenous Ngäbe community of La Casona in Southern Costa Rica, near the border with Panama, and a little bit in San Jose, the Costa Rican capital.
The film, produced by Popcorn & Friends, was recognized with award at Mostra Amazonas de Cinema, Brazil; Burbank International Film Festival, California; Viva! Latino Film Festival NYC Int’l, New York City; Madrid International Film Festival 2016; Love International Children Film Festival, California; International Film Festival for Peace, Inspiration and Equality, Indonesia; Global Independent Film Awards, online; and Depth of Field International Film Festival, online.
“To make this crazy guerilla-style project possible, I was lucky to assemble a unique international team of passionate film professionals from France, Brazil, Cuba and Costa Rica. They were all 100 percent dedicated to the idea of living and working with the Ngäbe in the rain forest in order to make this film, no matter the hardships, budget constraints or physical risks,” said Igor Darbo, producer, by email via the film’s publicist. “Snakes were never too far, both in the story and on set! Of course it also took time to gain the Ngabe’s trust, especially the men’s and after visiting the community multiple times and taking part in their festivals and assemblies, I develop a bond with Don Francisco, the elder leader who then agreed to play the old man marrying the teenage girl in the film. That bond was the mirror of Dana’s relationship with Dona Carmen, the protagonist and that’s what made the film possible. As a producer, I am extremely proud that Defenders of Life was able to touch the heart of people on all continents, but most of all of the enthusiastic reception it got from the Ngäbe themselves.”
Ziyasheva is an award-winning author, scriptwriter and film director from Kazakhstan. She has 25 years of field experience as a journalist. As adviser for Communication and Information of the United Nations she has traveled from Iraq to China and Central America. In 2016, her debut novel Shock was published in France.
Popcorn & Friends is a boutique production company founded in March 2012 by Darbo to produce “highly creative international films that are both entertaining and meaningful.” After winning the Best Co-Production Project award at the Shanghai International Film Festival for its high-concept Chinese treasure hunt The Dragon Angel, Popcorn & Friends produced Defenders of Life.
Between 200,000 and 250,000 Ngäbe people live on both sides of the border between Panama and Costa Rica. The community in the film is about 1,500 people large in Southern Costa Rica. According to the film producers, the Ngäbe (Ngabere is their language) are torn between tradition and assimilation into the modern society. Their youth start to slowly lose command of their native idioms and follow traditions less while education in Spanish and work opportunities in the city draw them further away from their ancient roots.