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Tribeca Film Festival

Tribeca Film Festival’s feature narrative, One Percent More Humid, premiered last night in Chelsea at the SVA Theater. The haunting coming-of-age story centers on two childhood friends on a break from college who reunite in their New England hometown. It’s a sweltering, sticky summer, hence the title. Iris (Juno Temple) and Catherine (Julia Garner) find relief in the cooling waters of the local lake.

juno temple
Juno Temple as Iris in ‘One Percent More Humid’
Julia Garner
Julia Garner ©2015 Dorri Olds

It soon becomes clear that their seemingly carefree skinny-dipping at the beautiful secluded spot, runs deeper. Iris and Catherine are obviously troubled. Sensitively written and directed by Liz W. Garcia, the town and its characters are so palpable, filled with realistic details. I felt like she intimately knew this world.

“I grew up in Ridgefield, Connecticut,” said Garcia, “and was haunted by events in that town. I wrote One Percent to get these characters out of their dilemma.”

The beauty of this indie is its slow reveal. Under Garcia’s direction, the camera zeros in on hints, telling the story through breadcrumb snippets. In one scene, the two actresses subtly convey a hint of sabatoging their well-being. Iris, chain-smoking, confides to Catherine that she’s having amazing sex.

But, instead of bubbly, she’s under pressure. The weight is knowing the affair is ill-advised. “I’m seeing my thesis advisor. I’m sleeping with him. He’s married.” Her professor is played by the magnetic Italian actor Alessandro Nivola.

In another scene we witness Catherine, drunk, in a bar, throwing herself at the brother of what we learn later is an important connection. But eventually, the viewer discovers he’s manipulating Catherine to garner information that will sink her.

Details of the girls’ shared grief boils to the surface, and we see that this is more than typical college-aged angst. They are wading into a torrential storm of self-destruction. Every action they take—pot, pills, alcohol, obsessive sex—is an attempt to feel better. They’re numbing themselves because they can find no absolution for guilt that rains down on them.

One Percent More Humid is one of the fine offerings by women directors this year. Through the storytelling, Garcia gifts us with what’s lacking in so many blockbusters: the woman’s perspective. Temple and Garner rise to the level of A-list performers; they’re effervescent and make it look effortless.

Showtimes:

Sun., April 23, 4:15pm, Cinepolis Chelsea 03

Mon., April 24, 7:45pm, Cinepolis Chelsea 01

Tues., April 25, 10pm, Regal Battery Park Theater 11

Drama, 98 min.

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The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival begins Wednesday, April 19 and runs through Sunday, April 30. This is the 16th year of awe-inspiring offerings. Many thanks go to co-founders Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro for this long-standing celebration of New York City, movies, media, and activism.

The festival is known for its exquisite mix of pure entertainment and searing documentaries. Jane Rosenthal said, “You have to remember, the festival started as a way to help our community after 9/11 and to bring people together and to bring a community together. That kind of activism is the DNA of this festival, not just of us as individuals.”

Jane Rosenthal
TFF cofounder Jane Rosenthal. Photo by Dorri Olds.

Ever since its inception, Rosenthal has championed the power of women by showcasing their work. Not only are there 25 female jurors this year, but out of 98 festival selections, 32 are helmed by female filmmakers. There has never been a more important time for solidarity among women.

Highlights of 2017 TFF Feature Films Directed By Women

For showtimes click on film titles
juno temple

One Percent More Humid Iris (Juno Temple) and Catherine (Julia Garner), are overwhelmed with grief after a shared tragedy. They turn to using sex like a drug to numb out and spin out into self-destruction. The movie was written and directed by Liz W. Garcia.

Flames Real-life couple, filmmaker Josephine Decker and artist Zefrey Throwell, filmed their romantic relationship over a five-year period. Movie viewers experience the pair during their giddy in love phase and high on their creative juices. Viewers watch the couple’s sexual encounters, knowing there is another woman in the room, she is off-screen but recording every intimate detail through her camera. It’s an eerie and fascinating concept to watch a relationship from its gleeful beginning to its soured end.

TFF

Blame This is 22-year-old writer-director Quinn Shephard’s feature debut. She also plays the starring role of emotionally unstable Abigail who lands the lead in class for Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Mean girl Melissa Bowman (Nadia Alexander) is pissed. The substitute drama teacher (Chris Messina) notices the hostile classroom environment and steps in to rally for vulnerable Abigail. The timing is tricky, though. The teacher’s marriage is strained, leaving him shaky, too.

Hedy Lamarr

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story Written and directed by Alexandra Dean, this is a new look at a Hollywood legend. Although known for her beauty, she had an incredible mind. Through the film we learn about her inventions, including a secret communication system for the Allies to beat the Nazis. She never received credit for her engineering innovations.

Mariska Hargitay

I Am Evidence Every year in America, thousands of rape kits containing DNA evidence are left untested by police. Over 175,000 kits have been uncovered. Only eight states (Georgia, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York) have passed laws requiring that rape kits be tested by police. As a result, decades worth of kits have been shelved, the cases are unsolved and the perps are free. Directed by Trish Adlesic and produced by Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order SVU’s Olivia Benson.Warning

Warning: This Drug May Kill You This timely documentary by Perri Peltz takes an unflinching look at the devastating effects of addiction through the stories of four families whose lives have been decimated by addictions that began with prescriptions to pain meds.

To keep up TFF2017 highlights, follow @DorriOlds and #Tribeca2017.

 

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2017 TFF Godfather

The 16th edition of the annual cultural festival announced the program’s big closer on Saturday, April 29—A celebration of the 45th anniversary since The Godfather’s hit theaters. There will be back-to-back screenings of the The Godfather and The Godfather Part II at Radio City Music Hall. That will be followed by an all-star panel discussion with Academy Award®-winning director Francis Ford Coppola and actors Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and Robert De Niro.

TFF

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ASJA conference

American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) Annual Writers Conference • Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan
45 East 45th Street at Madison Avenue

Saturday, May 6 • Day 2

I will be on two panels this year at the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) annual writers conference. The first is on Friday, May 5 at 2:45. Its topic is “Using Smartphones To Tell Stories.” My second panel will be on Saturday, May 6. It’s titled “Tackling Tough Topics.”

ALSO SEE MY FRIDAY, MAY 5 PANEL: “USING SMART PHONES TO TELL STORIES”

In this workshop, moderated by ASJA member Candy Arrington with panelists Dorri Olds, Rudri Patel and Sharon Van Epps, writers will learn methods to craft tough topics through the power of story. We will be providing practical suggestions for coping and moving forward, and writing with a level of transparency that touches hearts and inspires hope.

Though many writers feel compelled to write about a difficult life circumstance, loss, or grief, it’s important to know how to structure content, what to include and what to omit. In writing tough topics, you have the opportunity to reach those who are hurting, feel alienated and alone, and are searching for ways to heal their pain. No matter what the situation, there are common threads that reach across gender, cultural, and ethical barriers to foster hope and healing.

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ASJA

Writers Conference Panelists: Linda Marsa, Dan Q. Dao, Dorri Olds, Barclay Palmer, Coleen Jose

“Using Smartphones To Tell Stories”

This year I am speaking on two panels at the ASJA 46th annual writers conference.
On Friday, May 5, I will be speaking at 2:45 pm on a panel created by award-winning ASJA member Linda Marsa. I will also be moderating our talk, which will cover the nuts and bolts of producing video with a smartphone, including how to gather the elements and put them together:
  • Editing
  • Uploading to outlets from the field
  • What gear to get
  • Best editing apps
  • Voice over narrations
  • Downloading the video to your desktop
This session will also discuss how to find funding for multimedia projects, including grants, foundation funding and editorial outlet funding.

ALSO SEE MY SATURDAY, MAY 6 PANEL: “TACKLING TOUGH TOPICS”

The publishing industry occupies very different terrain than it did even a decade ago. With the industry shift from print to digital, new media for authors, the influx of content marketing, and revolving editors, freelancers—experienced and new—need to build their platforms while developing creative business strategies.
Never before has it been so essential for successful writers to Pivot in order to Publish and Prosper.
With more than 1,200 members, ASJA stands as the country’s leading and most prestigious association of successful journalists, authors and nonfiction and literary nonfiction writers.
The writers conference is a 2-day event held at the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan located at 45 East 45th Street at Madison Avenue.

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Dog Chef

We all know that fresh food is better than processed food. If it’s true for us, it makes sense that it is true for our dogs.

My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Buddy, is a very healthy boy. The only physical problems he’s had in his 10 years have been of his own making: swallowing parts of toys, snatching and gulping down food off the Manhattan streets faster than I could stop him. The bacteria in old food has sent us to the vet a few times. Now I’m much more careful. Each trip to the vet was terrifying and, as you probably know, it’s a helluva lot of money.

The sole digestive problem my hairy little son had is messy poops. The vet said it wasn’t anything to worry about so I didn’t. Then I met Kevyn Matthews,The Dog Chef.

During our first conversation I joked with Kevyn that Buddy has promised me he will never die. But, seriously, I’m scared now that Buddy has reached double digits. Kevyn picked up on my fear and said if I wanted my dog to live longer I should feed him a raw food diet. My first concern was food poisoning, like salmonella, but Kevyn reassured me that his plan includes probiotics to fight off any potential infection.

That’s all I had to hear to give it a try.

What Kevyn said made sense. Wild dogs ate raw meat and vegetables. I looked up the world’s first dog and that was 31,700 years ago. There have been many pooches since then and they’ve been around long before packaged dog food, riddled with fillers and preservatives, hit the shelves.

Raw Food

Convenience dog foods became all the rage in America in the mid to late 40’s. Huge bags of dry dog food became increasingly popular the same time the first McDonald’s popped up in 1948. That was long before what our nation now knows about nutrition.

“Packaged dog food contains wheat, rice, soy, or corn,” Kevyn said. “That’s not what dogs would be eating in the wild. Dog owners figure if the kibble comes from a big bag and a big company, it must be good. Most people don’t know if they’re feeding the dog healthy food or not because they don’t read what’s in it. Dog food was created for convenience to humans, not what’s best for a dog.”

This is Kevyn Matthews, The Dog Chef, in the midst of preparing a customized raw food meal for a client’s dog.

A few months have passed since I switched Buddy to Kevyn’s raw food diet and, glory hallelujah, Bud’s poops have been solid and easy-breezy to clean up. I’ve also noticed Bud’s breath is sweeter and his coat is softer, silkier, and shinier.

The average American pet eats food processed at high temperatures and filled with preservatives to extend its shelf life. The heat kills naturally occurring enzymes that exist in raw foods. Enzymes are tiny protein molecules found in every living cell. They are the “workers” that provide energy, metabolize foods, and help remove toxins. Heat, pesticides, herbicides, food preservatives, additives, artificial colorings, and flavor enhancers destroy enzymes.

There are two key categories of enzymes:

Metabolic

To maintain every cell, tissue and organ.

Digestive

To work in the stomach and intestines to break down food.

  • Amylase aids in digesting carbohydrates and starches
  • Cellulase breaks down fiber
  • Lipase aids in digesting fat
  • Protease works at digesting protein

When your pet eats heated and processed “dead” food without enzymes, their system will kick into survival mode to digest food. This means borrowing digestive enzymes from their metabolic enzymes. When that happens, your pet’s body is in overdrive and only able to partially digest food. Whatever isn’t digested can enter the bloodstream.

Kevyn said, “Inside your dog is an entire ecosystem that was designed to eat and digest foods in a certain way. Commercially cooked dry food with chemical preservatives is not what a dog’s system needs. By feeding a dog these foods we are changing their system from the genetic blueprint and making it work much harder. Fresh food takes your dog 6 hours to process; cooked foods take 12 hours or more to digest with some of it left sitting and rotting in the intestinal track. Stagnant food causes digestion issues and inflammation, which can lead to liver, kidney and pancreatic diseases, and cancer. When toxins aren’t processed and they spill out into the bloodstream, that can create serious health problems.”

“Obesity,” said Kevyn, “is increasing in this country and so are diabetes, cancer, and a host of other diseases. We have to stop and think about what we feed our animals. They need protein rich, enzyme rich, raw meat and raw vegetables.”

When fed grains, a dog’s pancreas have to produce large amounts of amylase to deal with starch and carbohydrates. Dogs were never built to digest grains, yet dog foods are filled with them.

Another reason I’ve switched to The Dog Chef’s raw food diet is the new knowledge that as my little Buddy ages, his body will produce fewer enzymes. If he doesn’t have enough his system will become taxed and age faster. I want my little four-legged fella by my side for another 10 years at least. I’m feeling hopeful since I switched to The Dog Chef’s raw food plan.

The oldest dog on record lived until the age of 29. Hey, you never know.

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Hemp

Hemp Plant Could Boost the U.S. Economy is a guest post written by Thompson Milan. Photo credit: Pixabay.

The Hemp Plant

The hemp plant is used in clothing, paper, construction materials, organic body care, and has myriad uses. The plant also has an abundance of Omega-6 and Omega-3. These fatty acids, which can be found in products like Cannabis CBD Oil for sale from Love Hemp, are great for your heart and have anti-inflammatory benefits. (read more…)

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