Posted by Elena del Valle on December 16, 2020
The Velocipastor poster
Established in 2018 Filmocracy offers 2,800 independent films in a variety of genres in shorts, documentaries, feature length and series, except music videos, for an audience mainly between 25 and 40 years of age. The selection includes foreign language films with subtitles. One film, Road To Your Heart, was in Afrikaans without subtitles.
“Filmocracy is the only site that offers virtual film festivals and also rewards users for watching and rating movies,” said Paul Jun, chief executive officer, Filmocracy, by email when asked what makes the streaming platform stand out. “Users earn virtual popcorn which they can spend in our shop on things like gift cards, movie tickets, and festival passes. Most of our subscribers come through the virtual film festivals we host.”
Paul Jun, chief executive officer, Filmocracy
According to the website subscriptions range from free with ads to Festival Premium for $29.99 a month. Most of the 17,000 users are in the United States, mainly Los Angeles and New York, with large user groups in Spain, India, and Brazil, according to Jun.
Eight categories of rating options (Plot, Characters, Cinematography, Performances, Dialogue, Sound/Music and Overall) appeared whenever I paused the videos. A rating number appeared at the top of videos that had been rated. As of this writing a drop down menu at the top of the homepage listed eleven categories. There were also featured films and upcoming virtual film festivals, including the Blastoff Film Festival, DC Chinese Film Festival, Diorama Film Festival, Around Films International Film Festival Barcelona for the remainder of 2020.
The three most watched films in 2020? The Velocipastor, Temp to Perm (disturbing short), and Extra Innings. Top genres in number of films: Drama, Documentary. The company markets mostly on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube. In addition to Jun the Los Angeles based company is owned by Kasia Jun Kaczmarczyk, Phillip Jun, Pawel Drzewiecki, and Jasper Grey.
Posted by Elena del Valle on November 18, 2020
Graciela Borges is Mara in The Weasel’s Tale (El Cuento de las Comadrejas)
Photo: Outsider Pictures
The Weasel’s Tale (El cuento de las comadrejas), a new suspense film with touches of dark humor and romance, will open in United States theaters December 11, 2020. The unrated film is in Spanish with English subtitles. No video clip file was made available.
Four long-time friends sharing a stately home in Argentina find themselves the victims of an unscrupulous greedy couple seeking to con them out of their home permanently. A Spanish Argentina collaboration copyrighted 2019 the 129-minute film was directed and written by Juan José Campanella (The Secret in Their Eyes). It appears to be a remake of Los muchachos de antes no usaban arsénico, a 1976 film from Argentina by José A. Martínez Suárez.
The film was distributed by Latido in Spain and Outsider Pictures and Strand Releasing in the United States. The cast features Graciela Borges as Mara, Oscar Martínez as Norberto, Luis Brandoni as Pedro, Marcos Mundstock as Martin, Clara Lago Grau as Bárbara, and Nicolas Francella as Francisco.
Posted by Elena del Valle on November 10, 2020
Divine Love poster
Photo, video: Outsider Pictures
Divine Love (Divino Amor), a 95-minute unrated futuristic drama from Globo Films and Vitrine Films in Portuguese with English subtitles, will premier in United States theaters November 13, 2020. A joint release of Outsider Pictures and Strand Releasing it stars Dira Paes and Julio Machado as a couple experiencing marital malaise and difficulty conceiving while living in Brazil of 2027. Directed by Gabriel Mascaro (Neon Bull) promotional materials recommend it for adult viewing only (nudity, explicit sexual scenes). Scroll down to watch a trailer in Portuguese with English subtitles.
Set in what appears to be an oppressive regime the film tells the story of Joana, a woman desperate to have a child. She visits a drive-through religious counselor regularly. She uses her position in a government office to convince divorcing couples to stay together, often directing them to Divine Love, an evangelical cult she belongs to that mixes group therapy, swinging, traditional prayers and bible study. A male child’s voice narrates part of the dark story.
“The film takes place in a time when the majority of Brazil’s population are now Evangelical, but the state still claims to be secular,” said Mascaro in a press release. “It is a film that speculates the near future through an extraordinary allegory. Divine Love is a commentary on the conservative, fanatical and nationalist agenda that is spreading throughout the world and the way those that don’t espouse it, engage with it. Brazil has traditionally been referred to as a liberal and united country, where the annual Carnaval celebrations espouse the country’s diversity and cordiality. But the fact is that during the past few years, a cultural, social and political transformation led by powerful, ultra-conservative forces, has taken hold in the country. Instead of telling the story of a character fighting against against this conservative shift, I wanted to tell the story of a woman consumed by a desire to advance the conservative religious agenda in a very personal way. If a societal chasm has emerged as a result of hatred and misunderstanding, cinema is a space where I can fantasize improbable encounters.”
Divine Love received government funding and funding from Sor Fond Norwegian South Film Fund, Programa Ibermedia Mascaro, World Cinema Fund Europe, and Creative Europe Media. Mascaro is a Brazilian film director, scriptwriter and artist who lives and works in Recife, in the Northeast of Brazil. Initially known for his documentary work, his first fiction film premiered in the international competition of Locarno Film Festival in 2014. In 2015, he released his Neon Bull, which won the Orrizzonti Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival and was Brazil’s entry to the Goya Awards in 2016. Divine Love, his third narrative feature, was an award winner at the Guadalajara International Film Festival and an official selection the Sundance Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival and Miami Film Festival.
Posted by Elena del Valle on October 28, 2020
Rachelle Lefevre and Matt Whelan play a Canadian couple in The Sounds
Photo: Acorn TV
Video: South Pacific Pictures
Rachelle Lefevre and Matt Whelan play Maggie and Tom Cabbott, a Canadian couple in The Sounds, a psychological thriller from Shaftesbury in Canada and South Pacific Pictures in New Zealand. When Tom disappears, dark secrets and family plots complicate matters for Maggie. The TV miniseries is available in the United States via Acorn TV, a commercial free subscription streaming service offering foreign programing. Scroll down to watch a video trailers.
In the eight episode miniseries the happily married Canadian couple start a new life and a new salmon fishery business in a small harbor town. What starts as a promising adventure for the couple seeking to escape Tom’s oppressive family quickly spirals into an unsettling story.
“It was made for Acorn TV and CBC and Sky TV NZ,” said Rachael Keereweer, head of Communications, South Pacific Pictures. “The primary target audience here in New Zealand was a relatively broad, 25-54 demo. From idea, the show was several years in the making. The actual production schedule, including pre-production was 6 1/2 months with a shoot period of 13 weeks from mid-August to late November 2019.”
The visually stunning background scenery in The Sounds is in New Zealand. The series was filmed in Whangaroa at the top of the North Island in an area called the Bay of Islands and in Auckland.
“It’s a mystical, magical, wonderful, beautiful place,” said Lefevre about the Malborough Sounds in a series press kit. And when asked about the most enjoyable aspect of working on The Sounds Whelan said, according to the same promotional materials, “Shooting up North in Whangaroa, I’d never been there before and spending a couple of weeks out on the water, on yachts and kayaking and doing all sorts of cool things in beautiful locations around New Zealand.”
The program was created and written by Sarah-Kate Lynch (Blessed Are the Cheesemakers, The House of Daughters). Other creative staff include Peter Stebbings, director, and executive producers Kelly Martin and Sally Campbell.
South Pacific Pictures, in operation for 32 years, has produced more than 5,600 hours of drama series and serials, feature films, reality programming and documentaries for New Zealand, Australian, Canadian and United Kingdom broadcasters, according to the company website.
Shaftesbury is a Toronto based creator and producer of original content for television, film, and digital content, according to the company website. That includes 13 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries, three seasons of Frankie Drake Mysteries, three seasons of Slasher, Hudson & Rex, Departure, Dead Still, and The Sounds.
Posted by Elena del Valle on October 21, 2020
Women in Biology
Photos: Science, Naturally!
Science, Naturally! released Women in Biology (Science Naturally, $9.95), a 40-page paperback for seven to ten year olds published this month. A hardback edition was published in 2016. The eight by eight inch book by Mary Wissinger is also available in a Spanish language edition titled Las mujeres en la biología. The books were illustrated by Danielle Pioli. Both books are available in digital formats.
Featured are Maria Sibylla Merian and Hildegard of Bingen of Germany as well as Jane Cooke Wright, Linda Buck and Barbara McClintock of the United States. There is a glossary at the end.
Las mujeres en la biología
The new titles are part of the publisher’s Science Wide Open series of “scientifically accurate children’s books” with a mission to teach young kids about Chemistry, Biology, and Physics, while highlighting some of the achievements of women in those fields. The biology books are the first ones in the series available in paperback and Spanish.
Mary Wissinger, author, Women In Biology
Wissinger was born in Wisconsin where she spent most of her childhood singing, reading, and daydreaming. A former teacher, she can often be found at her standing desk in St. Louis, Missouri, writing stories to inspire “curiosity about the world and connection with others.” She is the author of the entire Science Wide Open Series: Women in Biology, Women in Chemistry, and Women in Physics.
Danielle Pioli, illustrator, Women In Biology
Pioli is an artist and illustrator from Brazil who strives to inspire others to create. She produces art, illustrations, comics, zines, poems, songs, and hypnotherapy sessions. She is the illustrator of the entire Science Wide Open Series.
Science, Naturally! is Washington, D.C.-based independent press “committed to increasing science and math literacy by exploring and demystifying these topics in entertaining and enlightening ways.” The company uses fictional and nonfictional forms, diverse characters, and engaging formats to make intimidating subjects intriguing and accessible.
Posted by Elena del Valle on October 13, 2020
Torbjørn Ekelund, author, In Praise of Paths
Photo: Jørn H.Moen (2017)
A podcast interview with Torbjørn Ekelund, author, In Praise of Paths Walking Through Time and Nature, is available in the Podcast Section of Hispanic Marketing and Public Relations, HispanicMPR.com. During the podcast, he discusses the benefits of walking with Elena del Valle, host of the HispanicMPR.com podcast.
Torbjørn is co-founder of Harvest, an online magazine documenting wilderness adventures, environmental issues, and our relationship with nature. He lives in Oslo, Norway.
To listen to the interview, scroll down and click on the play button below. You can listen to it in the box marked “Podcast” on the right hand side. Select “HMPR Torbjørn Ekelund” and or download the MP3 file to your iPod or MP3 player to listen on the go, in your car or at home. You can also find it on the RSS feed. Some software will not allow flash, which may be necessary for the play button and podcast player. If that is your case, you will need to download the file to play it. To download it, click on the arrow of the recording you wish to copy and save it to disk. The podcast will remain listed in the October 2020 section of the podcast archive.
Posted by Elena del Valle on October 6, 2020
By Linville M. Meadows, M.D., author, A Spiritual Pathway To Recovery
Linville M. Meadows, M.D., author, A Spiritual Pathway To Recovery
Photo: Linville M. Meadows
Addiction is a truly universal illness. It spares no demographic, cutting across all social boundaries: income, gender, ethnic background, age, and occupation. It can afflict an upper level executive, a physician or lawyer, a ditch-digger or a sales clerk. Substance abuse is found in every part of the world, with a prevalence of about ten percent. If you’re sitting at a meeting of sixty people, it’s likely that six are afflicted by addiction in one form or another.
When sober, addicts are wonderful people: kind, generous, and thoughtful. They are intelligent, hard-working, and creative. But when drunk or stoned, they become unreliable, dishonest, even mean. You will remember Dr. Jekyll, who injected himself with cocaine, unleashing the perfectly terrible and homicidal Mr. Hyde. Click to read the entire Guest Article: Understanding Addiction in the Workplace
Posted by Elena del Valle on September 29, 2020
Jenni Lehtimäki, Ph.D., senior researcher, Finnish Environment Institute
Photo: Antti Leskinen
A podcast interview with Jenni Lehtimäki, Ph.D., senior researcher, Finnish Environment Institute, is available in the Podcast Section of Hispanic Marketing and Public Relations, HispanicMPR.com. During the podcast, she discusses skin micribiota with Elena del Valle, host of the HispanicMPR.com podcast.
Jenni is an ecologist and evolutionary biologist who studies ecosystem in human bodies, microbiota. She is especially interested in the role of green environments in supporting this ecosystem. She received her graduate degree from the Faculty of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland in 2017. She has tested the biodiversity hypothesis of health, which states that two global megatrends, i.e. decreasing biological diversity and increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases, are related. The potential link between these megatrends is the limited exposure to environmental, beneficial microbes, which do not thrive in urbanized and westernized areas.
She has worked on these research questions at the faculty of medicine at the University of Helsinki, Finland and at the clinical research unit Copenhagen Prospective Studies On Asthma in Childhood (COPSAC) in Copenhagen, Denmark. Currently her focus is on the role of biological diversity on human health.
To listen to the interview, scroll down and click on the play button below. You can also listen by looking for “Podcast” on the right hand side, then select “HMPR Jenni Lehtimäki, Ph.D.” and or download the MP3 file to your iPod or MP3 player to listen on the go, in your car or at home. You can also find it on the RSS feed. Some software will not allow flash, which may be necessary for the play button and podcast player. If that is your case, you will need to download the file to play it. To download it, click on the arrow of the recording you wish to copy and save it to disk. The podcast will remain listed in the September 2020 section of the podcast archive.