Comedy Gives Back, the nonprofit organization that supports struggling comedians navigating the lockdown of most live entertainment venues, today announced the rerelease of song and video titled “Christmas Magic” its celebrity studded 2020 fundraising holiday endeavor to kick off their giving season.
Being on-stage alone is the job; feeling alone offstage is unacceptable. Through the pandemic and the holidays isolation and loneliness could crush the spirit of the most determined up-and-coming comedian. It is well documented to lead to far higher rates of depression, anxiety, alcohol and substance abuse. This is unacceptable and Comedy Gives Back (“CGB”) is changing that.
CGB benefits stand-up comedians in times of need ranging from emergency financial relief grants, to access to mental health services or substance abuse treatment. A new partnership with Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services (didihirsch.org) will further enable CGB to provide free mental health services to comedians in need. “Comedy Gives Back is a great organization and we are proud to partner with them to provide free therapy and support groups to comedians who are struggling with depression, anxiety, substance use and suicide. Our partnership is a great example of how together, we can save lives!” said COO, Lyn Morris, LMFT.
This year’s CGB holiday song and video fundraiser follows its hugely successful “Comedy Gives Back Laugh Aid” fundraising event last April in which 90 comics, including many of the biggest names in the business, performed remotely in an eight-hour live stream raising over $500,000 and funding more than 650 grants to comedians who lost all of their income during this pandemic. It is time to refill the coffers for round two of lock down, and to continue to ensure the comedy community has a roof over their head, food in their belly and community to keep connected and sane.
To help achieve its holiday fundraising goals, CGB has enlisted a group of 60 of Hollywood’s most notable names in comedy along with Universal Music Group and 800 Pound Gorilla Records to rerelease and distribute its song and music video, “Christmas Magic.”
The funny, irreverent song and video “Christmas Magic” is set for digital release on November 24 for $1.29 via all the major platforms including iTunes and Amazon, and will be played on Spotify, Pandora, Sirius XM, and radio stations. All proceeds from the song will go directly to CGB in support of comedians that need their holiday pandemic services.
“Christmas Magic” is composed by Avery Pearson and Jordan Baum. An accompanying music video co-directed by Laura Murphy and Avery Pearson will also be rereleased on November 24, along with the song It will be available on the Comedy Gives Back website, YouTube, Facebook and at https://800PGR.lnk.to/christmas2020EM
Photo Credit: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com
The Croods: A New Age Announces Partnership With Feeding America
Posted on November 23, 2020, 10:10 am
In advance of the Thanksgiving weekend theatrical release of the new DreamWorks Animation comedy The Croods: A New Age (out Wednesday, November 25), Universal Pictures has partnered with the nonprofit organization Feeding America® for a groundbreaking three-tiered campaign to help provide one million meals** for families in need this holiday season.
First, Universal will launch the #CroodsCare Social Initiative on Twitter. The Croods are all about being good neighbors, so fans can send a tweet using #CroodsCare, tagging their neighbors or loved ones. For every tweet, Universal will make a donation to Feeding America. Every tweet using #CroodsCare between November 23 and December 31, 2020, will go towards providing up to 500,000 meals for families in need.
Second, Universal will launch a new The More You Know public-service announcement featuring the Croods and encouraging fans to donate directly to Feeding America. Fans can donate directly to Feeding America on the “Croods Care” landing page on the Feeding America website. For every donation fans make, Universal will make a matching donation up to $40,000 as part of the studio’s larger donation of $100,000 to the organization.
Third, Universal will launch a “Virtual Fruit Drive” on Nintendo’s blockbuster online video game platform, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Fans playing the game can donate a virtual piece of fruit to “Croods Cove” island, which allows players to explore the universe of The Croods: A New Age. (To access the island, players can use Dream Code: DA-1282-8266-2121.) Every virtual piece of fruit donated to the island between Nov. 23 and Dec 31 will translate into real meals that Universal will donate to a family, up to 100,000 meals.
“We’re delighted to join forces with Universal Pictures and The Croods: A New Age to help alleviate hunger for so many families who are in need across our country this winter,” said Lauren Biedron, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at Feeding America. “In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread unemployment, we estimate that more than 50 million people in America may not have enough to eat this holiday season. We’re grateful to Universal, DreamWorks Animation, and the tens of millions of Croods fans out there for helping us help our neighbors in need.”
For Universal and DreamWorks Animation, the partnership between The Croods: A New Age and Feeding America felt like a perfect fit. “The Croods: A New Age is a film that celebrates the strength, power and importance of family, and it reminds us that the word ‘family’ extends far beyond the people we are related to,” said Margie Cohn, President, DreamWorks Animation. “We are all part of a national family, a human family, and we need to look out for each other. We are happy to be able to join forces with Feeding America to help provide some security and comfort for the most vulnerable members of our American family this holiday season.”
**A $1 donation helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.
Photo Credit: Sara Carpenter / Shutterstock.com
Movies Coming Out This Weekend – November 20th
Posted on November 20, 2020, 10:00 am
Jiu Jitsu – R – Action, Adaptation
An ancient order of Jiu Jitsu fighters faces a vicious race of alien invaders in an epic battle for the survival of Earth.
Tony Jaa, Frank Grillo, Nicolas Cage, Rick Yune, Juju Chan, Martin Barab, Alain Moussi, Marie Avgeropoulos
Sound of Metal – R – Drama
During a series of adrenaline-fueled one-night gigs, itinerant punk-metal drummer Ruben (Riz Ahmed) begins to experience intermittent hearing loss. When a specialist tells him his condition will rapidly worsen, he thinks his music career — and with it his life — is over. His bandmate and girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke) checks the recovering heroin addict into a secluded sober house for the deaf in hopes it will prevent a relapse and help him learn to adapt to his new situation. But after being welcomed into a community that accepts him just as he is, Ruben has to choose between his equilibrium and the drive to reclaim the life he once knew. Utilizing startling, innovative sound design techniques, director Darius Marder takes audiences inside Ruben’s experience to vividly recreate his journey into a rarely examined world.
Michael Costigan, Olivia Cooke, Darius Marder, Paul Raci, Ben LeClair, Riz Ahmed, Mathieu Amalric, Lauren Ridloff
Christmas on the Square – Musical, Family
Christmas On The Square follows small town “Scrooge” Regina Fuller (Christine Baranski) as she’s visited by a rhinestone-bedazzled angel (Dolly) who guides her on a musical journey of redemption. Will this stingy property owner evict the entire town of Fullerville on Christmas Eve, or will her greed give way to the Christmas spirit?
Dolly Parton, Christine Baranski, Jeanine Mason, Mary Lane Haskell, Selah Kimbro Jone, Debbie Allen, Maria S. Schlatter, Treat Williams
Photo Credit: Dusan Petkovic / Shutterstock.com
Judd Apatow and Eugene Levy Together for the First Time Raising Funds for COVID-19
Posted on November 19, 2020, 10:12 am
On November 22, 2020, The Canadian Shaare Zedek Hospital Foundation will be dedicating 24 hours for a special crowdfunding giving day to raise over $600,000 to benefit Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. The hospital has opened its fifth COVID-19 Department and requires critical funds to purchase lifesaving equipment. Shaare Zedek is Jerusalem’s headquarters for COVID-19 relief, decontamination, a leading authority on disaster management and emergency response protocols.
The CODE BLUE 2.0 campaign kicks off at 10:00 a.m., when the website will go live for only 24 hours. Every dollar raised during the crowdfunding period will be quadrupled by a pool of matching donors. By using the power of social media, crowdfunding, influencers, celebrity ambassadors, and a team of volunteers across Canada, the foundation will garner awareness and raise funds before the clock runs out to help reach, and hopefully surpass, the $600,000 goal.
Using the help of a star-studded cast including acclaimed Hollywood producer, Judd Apatow, Schitts Creek Emmy Award winner, Eugene Levy, master illusionist and America’s Got Talent winner, Shin Lim, Broadway’s Rent cast member, Adam Pascal and more special guests will virtually come together for a telethon on the special giving day. Every donor who makes a gift to the campaign, both in advance and on November 22, will receive a link to enjoy the entertainment.
Photo Credit: Shawn Goldberg / Shutterstock.com
Actress Gemma Chan Announces Latest Partnership
Posted on November 18, 2020, 10:20 am
From the moment she turned down her law career to follow her dream into acting, Gemma Chan has forged an unconventional path to Hollywood. The feminist is one of a new generation shaking up the film world – calling out what needs to change, and then working to make it happen. The British actress has grown her influence for greater inclusion in cinema; for gender equality and for race diversity among the movie industry’s storytellers and makers, as well as actors. She has also partnered with international NGOs to campaign for children’s rights and equality. Always taking an active role for society’s most vulnerable, Gemma most recently supported the UK’s frontline workers at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, by volunteering with Cook-19 to deliver much-needed free meals to help overwhelmed healthcare workers across London.
After graduating in law from Oxford University in 2004, she was offered a job with one of London’s leading law firms but turned it down. Instead, she decided to follow her intuition to pursue an acting career. She spent a year working as a model to fund her studies at Drama Centre London, the acting school that produced talents such as Emilia Clarke, Colin Firth, and Pierce Brosnan.
Gemma followed first roles in theatre with appearances on household shows such as Doctor Who and Sherlock, before landing her breakout role in sci-fi series Humans. In 2018, she burst into Hollywood in the decade’s biggest romantic comedy, Crazy Rich Asians, followed by the first women-led action film from Marvel, Captain Marvel, an international success. Following this, Gemma returned to British television in the I Am anthology drama series for Channel 4, from BAFTA winning writer-director Dominic Savage. The trilogy explored the experience of three women in moments that were emotionally raw, thought-provoking and very personal with themes including relationships, societal pressure, identity and empowerment. Gemma received rave reviews for her performance in I Am Hannah, which she co-developed and co-authored. This December Gemma will star alongside Hollywood royalty Meryl Streep in the Steven Soderbergh comedy for HBO, Let Them All Talk and next February, the actress makes an awaited return to the blockbuster Marvel franchise alongside Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek in Eternals.
For Gemma Chan, to be an actress gives her the chance to speak up on issues that matter to her. She advocates for inclusivity and feminism, values at the heart of L’Oréal Paris. As often the only person of color on-set when her career began, Gemma experienced first-hand both the need for cultural change – and how much change is resisted.
Transforming her support for underrepresented groups into concrete action, in 2019, the actress founded her own production company – with the intention of amplifying voices and helping to tell the stories of minorities. The extent of her positive influence was recognized when she was crowned a ‘Force for Change’ by British Vogue in its Duchess of Sussex guest-edited edition.
Gemma is an advocate for women’s rights and against sexual misconduct within the film industry and across wider society. She was one of 190 signatories of 2018 ‘Time’s Up’ movement and is a founding member and financial contributor to the Justice and Equality Fund, the U.K. equivalent of the ‘Time’s Up’ Legal Defense Fund to combat sexual harassment, assault and discrimination. Together withher work for diversity and equality, Gemma is an ambassador for future generations. In her campaigning for children’s rights, she is a High Profile Supporter of UNICEF UK.
“Gemma Chan is proof of the success that happens when you have the confidence to follow your own dreams, and speak up for others to be able to follow theirs. Committed to her causes with innate female strength, she’s a source of inspiration beyond the screen, for young women to be the change. We’re delighted to welcome Gemma to the family.” – Delphine Viguier-Hovasse, Global Brand President L’Oréal Paris
“I’ve always believed that we should embrace our difference as our strength. So I’m thrilled to join L’Oréal Paris, a family of empowered women of all origins standing together to show the power and beauty of diversity. The L’Oréal Paris message to every woman: “believe in your self-worth” is as needed today as ever.” – Gemma Chan