Monday, June 30, 2014

Intangis Holdings: "Nigerian Bad Bank, Amcon Must Comply with the Rules When Dealing with Afribank - Mainstreet Bank"


LONDON, June 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

Statement by Intangis Holdings:
Created in 2010 to deal with non performing loans held by Nigerian banks directly affected by the 2008 international financial crisis, the Nigerian Bad Bank structure Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (Amcon) has broadened its mandate to the detriment of transparency and governance requirements that are essential in a global business world. Having referred the Mainstreet Bank (formerly Afribank) case to the International Court of Arbitration (ICC) in Paris, Intangis Holdings is contemplating legal action against Amcon.
     (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140630/694299 )

Background
After taking participation interests in the share capital of Afribank in 2010, Amcon organised the liquidation of the banking group and subsequent transfer of all its assets to a new structure, Mainstreet Bank, which it wholly owns. This liquidation concluded between 5 and 8 August 2011 harmed all Afribank's shareholders and creditors, including Intangis Holdings. Intangis Holdings referred the matter to the International Court of Arbitration, on 29 April 2011, which issued a preliminary decision in its favour in September 2013 and took the view that Mainstreet Bank was party to the contract between Intangis Holdings and Afribank.
Since that decision, Amcon has taken steps to divest from Mainstreet Bank while omitting to make provision as required by the international accounting rules (IFRS) for certain liabilities of the bank, estimated by Intangis Holdings at $1.4 billion.

Intangis Holdings calls for compliance with the international accounting rules (IFRS) and reserves the right to commence legal proceedings to assert its rights. At the time Amcon, which was only mandated to deal with Afribank's non-performing loans, invested in its share capital, the bank with a total assets of $3 billion was ranked 16th among West African banks according to the 2009 league table "The top 200 African banks" published by Jeune Afrique magazine. Afribank was also listed in the Dow Jones "Africa Titans 50" index. The target date for the divestment of Amcon's stake in Mainstreet Bank has been set for 15 September 2014.

"If Amcon manages to sell Mainstreet Bank after having organised such a transaction and without ensuring proper reporting of the bank's books, we would be dealing with a huge scandal. The banking group would be jeopardized, its customers endangered and its historic shareholders and creditors would suffer irreversible damages. Intangis Holdings cannot believe that the Nigerian authorities would tolerate such actions in contradiction to the requirement for transparency and good governance," declared Jean Missinhoun, senior partner of Intangis Holdings.

About Intangis Holdings
Intangis Holdings is an American financial and investment company (with offices in New York and London) established in 2001 and specialised in Emerging Markets. In Africa, Intangis Holdings has been involved in long-term with high potential projects. It participates in the equity and debt securities, credit and derivatives market. Intangis Holdings' strategic vision and perfect knowledge of the "new frontiers" gives it a unique insight into its investments in Africa. Intangis Holdings is one of the major players contributing to the development and deepening of African financial markets.

Contacts:
35°N
Philippe Perdrix (Francophone media)
Tel.: +33 (0)6 84 24 62 96
E-mail: pp@35nord.com
Romain Grandjean (Anglophone media)
Tel.: +33 (0)6 73 47 53 99
E-mail: rg@35nord.com

SOURCE Intangis Holdings


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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Political Vampires and the Foolish Youths and Poor Masses in Nigeria


The future of Nigerian children has never been so bleak since the Nigerian-Biafran war. And these present tragedies have been caused by the evil greed for power of wicked political vampires in both the ruling party and the opposition.
They don’t care how many poor children are kidnapped or murdered as long as their own children are safe and far away from the reach of the Boko Haram marauders and murderers on rampage in the Middle Belt and northern states of Nigeria.

A group of the kidnapped Chibok school girls held by the ruthless Boko Haram Islamic terrorists in northern Nigeria.

All of them posing and posturing as political leaders are only pretenders and deceivers of the ignorant poor masses who are easily fooled by their lies and bribes; like the recent case in Ekiti state where sharing bags of rice is enough to buy the votes of the poor voters and bribe their recruiters of rented crowds who have no conscience and no shame and have become a disgrace of this generation. The eventual winner the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State, Mr. Ayo Fayose gave 30, 000 bags of rice to students and market women, (http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/fayose-shares-30-000-bags-of-rice-to-students-market-women/180889/). And as long as the poor masses are selling their birthright for cheap porridge, they will continue to be slaves of their greedy political paymasters and will continue suffering and dying in poverty.
Defending the poor masses in Nigeria is a waste of time, because they are as guilty as these evil doers who always send them on fool’s errand to carry out their heinous crimes of ritual murders, political riots, falsification of documents and rigging elections. So, they are reaping what they sowed.

These political vampires are actually bloody cultists masquerading in the camouflage of political parties and they enjoy human sacrifices of others to achieve their bloody goals of competing for political titles and misappropriation of public funds from the Niger Delta to Abuja and from Abuja to Minna and from Minna to Adamawa and from Adamawa to Katsina and from Katsina to Kaduna and from Kaduna to Kano and from Kano to Jos and from Jos to Yobe and from Yobe to Maiduguri.
But will they escape from the coming Judgment Day?
They will only escape, except there is no God, whether they believe in Him or not.






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Friday, June 27, 2014

Dame Taiwo Ajai-Lycett: The Quintessential Nigerian Actress


Dame Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, OON, Fellow (SONTA)

NOLLYWOOD MIRROR® Second Edition celebrates Dame Taiwo Ajai-Lycett: The Quintessential Nigerian Actress.

I met Dame Taiwo Ajai-Lycett before 1980 when I was only 15 and wanted to be an actor and model. She and her husband Mr. Lycett had relocated to Nigeria after decades of living and working in the UK. They started two advertising and media companies called Partnership Advertising Limited (PAL) and Taiwo Ajai Communications in Ire Akari Estate, Isolo, Lagos. My family was living in Shomolu that was miles away from Isolo, but I always found my way to her place and she was a good mentor, even though there were times I felt that I did not live up to her high expectations of me as a young man. But after two years, I left acting and modeling to work as an artist and a script writer and I was a great success locally and internationally. We never saw each other for over two decades, but I was following news updates on her outstanding and laudable achievements in corporate Nigeria. Her corporate engagements took more of her time than acting, therefore she did not feature much on TV and cinema in Nigeria, but she mentored several young people who later made headlines in the Nigerian film industry that is now popularly called Nollywood. I will remain forever glad and grateful for what God did for me on Saturday June 22, 2013, when Dame Taiwo Ajai-Lycett and accomplished veteran actor, musician and orator Jimi Solanke rocked the launching of my Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema Project at the popular Freedom Park on Lagos Island. They thrilled the audience with their impromptu short performance of anecdotes as they ad-libbed and danced in dramatic rapport. She challenged Nigerian youths and others not to rest on their oars after getting their academic degrees or diplomas. In her signature style of speaking in eloquent Queens English, she said even without degrees they could fulfill their dreams and achieve greater things for themselves and Nigeria with their special skills and talents as many proven successful achievers have done without academic qualifications.

The history of TV and cinema in Nigeria will not be complete without the appreciation of this awesome Amazon I call the quintessential Nigerian actress and a role model worthy of emulation by all young women who want to excel and succeed in the leadership of the new generation of Nigerian youths in the nation building of a New Nigeria.


See more in the 
NOLLYWOOD MIRROR® Second Edition coming out on Monday June 30, 2014.
A collector's treasure, celebrating the best in Nigerian motion picture in 150 pages.




There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth.
~ Leo Tolstoy


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Thursday, June 26, 2014

FIFA World Cup 2014 Predictions: France Vs Nigeria

FIFA World Cup 2014 Predictions: France Vs Nigeria


Allez Les Bleus! Deschamps team stuttered against Equador, but how will they fare against African competition?


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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

IMAX and Ster-Kinekor Expand Partnership With Two New Movie Theaters in South Africa


IMAX and Ster-Kinekor Expand Partnership With A Further Two-Theatre Deal Building on Success of the IMAX® Theatre at Ster-Kinekor Gateway in Durban, 

South Africa's Top Exhibitor to Bring The IMAX Experience® to Pretoria East and Johannesburg 


NEW YORK, June 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IMAX Corporation (NYSE: IMAX; TSX: IMX) and Ster-Kinekor Theatres, a division of Primedia (Pty) Ltd., today announced an agreement for two further IMAX® theatres.  The first IMAX theatre will be added to the exhibitor's upcoming multiplex at The Grove Mall in Pretoria East in June 2014, with a second to be added to another new multiplex at the Eastgate Shopping Centre in Johannesburg in the second half of 2015. The deal brings Ster-Kinekor's IMAX commitment to three theatres.


"Today's agreement is a direct result of the success of our first IMAX theatre in Durban, which has been tremendously popular with our patrons and has strengthened the overall performance of our multiplex," said Fiaz Mahomed, CEO, Ster-Kinekor. "IMAX helps us deliver on our commitment to offer our guests a premium entertainment experience and we are proud to bring more movie-goers in South Africa the biggest event films in the world's most immersive format."


"Given the box office success of the first IMAX theater in Durban, we are very pleased to see Ster- Kinekor commit to two additional locations in South Africa just nine months after their first opening," said Andrew Cripps, President of IMAX EMEA.  "South Africa was one of a number of new countries that we entered in 2013, which also included Germany, Switzerland, and Portugal, and it is clear there is a growing appetite for IMAX in the market. We look forward to working with Ster-Kinekor to help build the IMAX brand throughout the country."


About Ster-Kinekor Theatres
Ster-Kinekor Theatres is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Primedia Group and is the largest movie exhibitor on the African continent. The company operates 54 commercial cinema complexes in South Africa, with five international sites based in Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The cinema chain's sites house more than 450 large-scale screens, over 64000 seats and the largest 3D footprint featuring more than 120 state-of-the-art 3D screens across the country.


As the industry leader, Ster-Kinekor has pioneered cinema concepts such as Cinema Nouveau, one of the world's largest dedicated art-house multiplex circuits, and the luxurious Cine Prestige theatres, the first 'business class' cinema experience in South Africa. It boasts one of the few cinemas on the continent that is fitted with the advanced Dolby Atmos sound system (at Gateway in Durban); and has headed the return of The IMAX Experience®, with the opening of the IMAX® Theatre at Gateway in 2013. As one of South Africa's most loved brands, it is Ster-Kinekor's ongoing mission to become synonymous with the unrivalled magic of the cinema experience, by providing 'Great Moments at Their Greatest'. During 2013, the company embarked on a massive roll-out project to convert and equip every cinema with the very latest in digital projection and sound technology. The result of this upgrade is that every cinema now boasts state-of-the-art cinema technology that encompasses 2K and 4K digital projection and 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound systems.
The award-winning SK App, which is downloadable on all smart phone operating systems, is interactive, user-friendly and feature-rich, and recently recorded its 1.5-millionth download. The new-look SK Club loyalty programme rewards members with redeemable points when they swipe their card when buying movie tickets or catering. Combined with industry leading loyalty programmes from Edcon and Discovery Vitality, these give Ster-Kinekor a strong consumer value proposition and competitive advantage.

As the market leader, Ster-Kinekor aims to spearhead the advancement of cinema across both South Africa and the rest of Africa, to ensure that consumers continue to experience movies as they were made to be seen – on the big screen.
See more at: www.sterkinekor.com


About IMAX Corporation
IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you've never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX's network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.


IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. As of March 31, 2014, there were 840 IMAX theatres (707 commercial multiplexes, 18 commercial destinations and 115 institutions) in 57 countries.


IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience®, The IMAX Experience®, IMAX Is Believing® and IMAX nXos® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).


This press release contains forward looking statements that are based on IMAX management's assumptions and existing information and involve certain risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. These risks and uncertainties are discussed in IMAX's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.


For additional information please contact:
Investors:
IMAX Corporation, New York
Teri Loxam
212-821-0100

Business Media:
Sloane & Company, New York
Whit Clay
212-446-1864
Media:
IMAX Corporation, New York
Ann Sommerlath
212-821-0155

Entertainment Media:
Principal Communications Group, Los Angeles
Melissa Zuckerman/Paul Pflug
323-658-1555
Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111107/MM01969LOGO

 Top IMAX News

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Nairaland Under Attack Since Sunday



Nairaland Under Attack Since Sunday 

Nigeria's most popular and most visited website Nairaland has been offline since Sunday and only returned online today with an announcement on the homepage that it was under an unspecified attack.

 "Nairaland is trying to recover from an attack that led to data loss. Please bear with us." 

The founder and owner Mr. Oluwaseun Osewa said on his Twitter page:
“It may be worse than you think. It may take much longer than you expect.” ‘We failed to protect what you entrusted to us. We tried, but we failed. We wish we would have been the only ones affected by our failure.” “We’re going into a quiet period to concentrate on bringing back Nairaland. By the end of the week, we will be able to answer your questions.”
We hope Nairaland will be full restored asap, because it is the most vibrant online forum for popular democracy and free speech for millions of Nigerians and friends of Nigeria.


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Monday, June 23, 2014

Nollywood and the French Connection


NOLLYWOOD MIRROR® presents a special never before done feature on Nollywood and the French Connection: How the French Government Boosted the Global Phenomenon of Nollywood. Since 1984 when the Fonds Sud Cinéma fund was started for film projects from Africa, America, Latin America and the Near and Middle East, Asia (except Korea, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan) and some eastern European countries: (Albania, former Yugoslavia and the former Soviet Republics of central Asia), many filmmakers have benefited from it until it was replaced by the newly created Aide aux cinémas du monde in 2012. It was financed by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and jointly executed by the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC),


The Aide aux cinémas du monde "World Cinema Support", created 2012 is a new fund dedicated to international co-productions. Jointly created by the Ministry for Culture and Communication and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, it is managed by the Centre National du Cinéma et de l'Image Animée (CNC) and the Institut français.


Millions of people do not know how much the Fonds Sud Cinéma fund boosted the growth of Nollywood and Pierre Barrot,a former Regional Audio-Visual Attaché at the French Embassy in Lagos even edited one of the first books on the emergence of Nollywood in his Nollywood: the Video Phenomenon in Nigeria, Indiana University Press, 2009. And before him, the other first major book on Nigerian cinema, The Cinema in Nigeria was written by another French, Françoise Balogun. Delta, 1987. She is the wife of one of the first most accomplished filmmakers in Nigeria, Dr. Ola Balogun.


The beneficiaries of the French connection made movies that raised the bar in Nollywood and they include Chike Ibekwe, Faruk Lasaki and Tunde Kelani. But some of them made movies that bombed. Who are the others? Find out in the third edition of NOLLYWOOD MIRROR®, the special volume to celebrate the Nigeria Centenary with 100 Stars of Nollwyood and Kannywood, coming out in October 2014.


Nobody does it better.
NOLLYWOOD MIRROR® 


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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Moscow International Film Festival Affected By Sanctions Against Russia

Moscow Fest Affected By Sanctions Against Russia 



The Moscow International Film Festival, which kicked off yesterday, is feeling the heat of international sanctions against Russia. Some foreign producers wouldn't let their films be screened, and the foreign guest list is ...

 
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Friday, June 20, 2014

119 Students Escaped During Boko Haram Attack on Chibok School

A  group of the kidnapped Chibok school girls in a Boko Haram video.

119 students managed to escape before their remaining colleagues were abducted when the Boko Haram terrorists invaded the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State on April 14.
Read full report on 
http://www.punchng.com/news/219-chibok-schoolgirls-still-missing-fg-panel/.


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Winners Announced for 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival



Winners Announced For 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival

Dave Boyle's Man From Reno, Debra Granik's Stray Dog & Damian John Harper's Los Ángeles Win Jury Awards 

Kerem Sanga's The Young Kieslowski, Geeta V. Patel and Ravi V. Patel's Meet the Patels and Pernille Fischer Christensen's Someone You Love Win Audience Awards 

Best Performance, Short Film and Music Video Award Winners Also Revealed 

Sloan Fast Track Grant Awarded to Operator 

Winner of the Funny Or Die Competition Also Announced 


Tilda Swinton at the Los Angeles Film Festival Opening Night Red Carpet Premiere of 'Snowpiercer'.

LOS ANGELES, June 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Los Angeles Film Festival, in conjunction with Presenting Media Sponsor the Los Angeles Times and Host Partner Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE announced the jury and audience award winners for the 2014 Festival at the Awards Cocktail Reception. Actor Vincent Piazza of Jersey Boys was on hand to present the awards. The Awards Cocktail Reception was sponsored by Loyola Marymount University's School of Film and Television. The Los Angeles Film Festival ran from Wednesday, June 11 to Thursday, June 19 in downtown Los Angeles.

'Snowpiercer' Director Bong Joon-ho addresses the audience before the premiere.

"This year the Los Angeles Film Festival reached a new high, thanks to the audiences who packed theaters in support of the films. We're so proud of every single film and celebrate the winners!" said Festival Director Stephanie Allain.


The juried awards of the Los Angeles Film Festival are the Narrative Award, the Documentary Award and the LA Muse Award, each carrying an unrestricted $5,000 cash prize for the winning film's director. The winners of the short film awards each receive a $1,500 cash prize. The awards were established by the Festival to encourage independent filmmakers to pursue their artistic ambitions.

"Huge thanks to our wonderful juries, whose enthusiasm and diligence was remarkable. There were so many outstanding movies in the competition this year, which made the jurors' job difficult. Congratulations to the winners—and to all the filmmakers who helped make the Festival a rousing success," said Artistic Director David Ansen.


The Narrative Award recognizes the finest narrative film in competition at the Festival and went to Dave Boyle for Man From Reno, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. The Documentary Award recognizes the finest documentary film in competition at the Festival and went to Debra Granik for Stray Dog, which made its World Premiere at the Festival. An honorable mention was also bestowed upon Eliza Kubarska's Walking Under Water, which made its US premiere at the Festival.  The inaugural LA Muse Award sponsored by Fox Audience Strategy goes to Damian John Harper for his film Los Ángeles, which had its International Premiere at the Festival.


The Los Angeles Film Festival also awarded an unrestricted $1,500 cash prize to each short film category. The recipient for the Award for Best Narrative Short Film went to The Runaway, directed by Jean-Bernard Marlin. The Award for Best Documentary Short Film went to The Queen, directed by Manuel Abramovich. The Award for Best Animated or Experimental Short Film went to Butter Lamp, directed by Hu Wei. The Shorts Program Awards are funded by HBO.
The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature went to The Young Kieslowski, directed by Kerem Sanga, and the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature went to Meet the Patels, directed by Geeta V. Patel and Ravi V. Patel. Someone You Love by Pernille Fischer Christensen won the Audience Award for Best International Feature.
The Audience Award for Best Short Film went to The Gunfighter, directed by Eric Kissack. Turn Down For What: Lil John and DJ Snake, directed by Daniels with music by Lil John and DJ Snake, won the Audience Award for Best Music Video. 


The narrative jury consists of director Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12, I Am Not A Hipster), who won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature in 2013, producer Stuart Cornfeld (Zoolander, Blades of Glory, Kafka, Dodgeball, The Fly, Tropic Thunder) and film critic Ella Taylor (NPR, Variety, The Wrap, The New York Times Arts & Leisure, LA Weekly, The Village Voice). The documentary jury is comprised of editor Lynzee Klingman (Hearts and Minds, A River Runs Through It, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, War of the Roses), Spirit Award-winning director Margaret Film Independent (The Great Invisible, The Order Of Myths, Be Here To Love Me: A Film about Townes Van Zandt) and film critic and author Justin Chang (LAFCA, Variety). The LA Muse jury includes award-winning composer/singer-songwriter Kathryn Bostic (Middle of Nowhere, Make a Wish, I Will Follow, Dear White People), writer/director/producer Maryam Keshavarz (Circumstance, Dog Sweat, The Day I Died), Executive Vice President, Fox Audience Strategy Nicole Bernard and director Kevin Bray (Walking Tall, All About the Benjamins, Linewatch). The shorts jury consists of screenwriter/actor/director Todd Berger (It's a Disaster, The Scenesters), Film Independent Spirit Award winning writer/director Kyle Patrick Alvarez (C.O.G., Easier with Practice) and casting director Julia Kim (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Get Shorty, Bedazzled, But I'm a Cheerleader), who won the Film Independent Spirit Awards Robert Altman Award for Casting Director and Best Ensemble Cast for the film Starlet in 2013.


Also announced earlier at the festival were the Fast Track grants winners which Film Independent selects and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation sponsors.  The Fast Track program is an intensive, three-day film-financing market that connects participants with established financiers, production companies, agents, managers and other film industry professionals who can move their current projects forward.  Filmmakers Logan Kibens and Felipe Dieppa's Operator won the Sloan Fast Track Grant, a $15,000 production grant. In addition to participation in Fast Track, as part of the Sloan Foundation grant, the filmmakers will also receive year-round support from Film Independent.


This year marked a special collaboration with Funny Or Die for the Make 'em LAFF internet talent competition to discover content creators of color and underrepresented voices who specialize in comedy. The winner was selected by a jury comprised of Funny Or Die founder Chris Henchy, writer/producer/director Issa Rae (Awkward Black Girl) and comedians Hannibal Buress and Kumail Nanjiani. The winner is Suzi Yoonessi's Olive and Mocha: Fast Times at Sugar High. Yoonessi will have her next video produced by Funny Or Die and receive a talent hold deal with a cash prize presented by Fox Audience Strategy. Under the deal, she will be presented across the Fox entertainment businesses.
Now in its 20th year, the Los Angeles Film Festival showcases diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision in new American and international cinema and is produced by Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that also produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards and Film Independent at LACMA Film Series. The 2014 Festival screened nearly 200 feature films, shorts and music videos, representing 40 countries, along with signature programs such as the Filmmaker Retreat, Music in Film at The GRAMMY Museum®, Master Classes supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and launching at this year's festival is a special section called LA Muse focused on the city of Los Angeles as an inspiration for filmmakers and artists.


The Los Angeles Film Festival kicked off on Wednesday, June 11 with the North American premiere of Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer and will close tonight with Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys. Gala Screenings included Love is Strange, The Two Faces of January and Dear White People.  The 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Guest Director was Lisa Cholodenko; she was also the recipient of the inaugural Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award. This year's Spirit of Independence Award was bestowed upon Sony Pictures Classics' Tom Bernard and Michael Barker.

The Los Angeles Film Festival is a qualifying festival in all categories for the Film Independent Spirit Awards and for the Narrative and Animated Short Film categories at the Academy Awards.


Awards were given out in the following categories:
Narrative Award (for Best Narrative Feature)
Winner: 
Man From Reno, directed by Dave Boyle
Producer: 
Ko Mori
Cast: 
Ayako Fujitani, Pepe Serna, Kazuki Kitamura


Film Description: A stranger in the increasingly strange city of San Francisco, Japanese crime novelist Aki is unsure of precisely what role she has to play in a real-life murder mystery involving ambiguous MacGuffins and amorphous identities. Unfolding in lonely places such as bookshops and hotel bars, Dave Boyle's moody thriller uncovers exhilarating new takes on genre conventions. Consequently, it's an alluring homme fatal who supplies Aki with the breadcrumb trail of clues that entices her into a labyrinthine plot of sinister dealings. In turn, the aging sheriff (veteran character actor Pepe Serna, fantastic in a rare leading role), who should rightfully be riding to her rescue, proves to be equally out of his depth. The game is afoot, the chase is exhilarating and the stakes are perilously high in this inspired neo-noir.


The Narrative Award carries an unrestricted cash prize of $5,000. The award recognizes the finest narrative film in competition and is given to the director. A special jury selects the winner, and all narrative feature-length films screening in the Narrative Competition section were eligible.
In bestowing Dave Boyle with the Narrative Award, the Jury stated:
"Man From Reno tells a complicated story in a straightforward confident manner. Its exploration of barriers of age, language and success set against a noir plot line infuses a pop energy into the well observed portrayal of its unique characters."


Documentary Award (for Best Documentary Feature)
Winner:     
Stray Dog, directed by Debra Granik
Producer:  
Anne Rosellini
Featuring:  
Ron 'Stray Dog' Hall, Alicia Soriano Hall, Felipe Angel Padilla Soriano, Felipe de Jesús Padilla Soriano
Film Description:  Winter's Bone director Debra Granik's searching, stereotype-shattering documentary focuses on Ron "Stray Dog" Hall. At first glance, this burly, bearded biker looks like one badass dude. Then, through Granik's incisive, sympathetic eye, we begin to see his big, battle-scarred heart. The movie follows Stray Dog as he caravans on his Harley from his rural Missouri home to Washington, D.C. with his fellow vets to pay tribute to his fallen brothers at the Vietnam Memorial. Back home, he takes in his Mexican wife and her two sons, who are, like him, struggling to find a place in a country that has become foreign. Stray Dog is at once a powerful look at the veteran experience, a surprising love story and a fresh exploration of what it takes to survive in the hardscrabble heartland of America.


The Documentary Award carries an unrestricted cash prize of $5,000. The award recognizes the finest documentary film in competition, and is given to the director. A special jury selects the winner, and all documentary feature-length films screening in the Documentary Competition section were eligible. The Documentary Competition is sponsored by Loyola Marymount University's School of Film and Television.
In bestowing Debra Granik with the Documentary Award, the Jury stated:
"The Documentary Award goes to a beautifully crafted observational portrait that addresses, with love, empathy and humor, some of the issues we struggle with as a country today, such as PTSD, immigration and poverty. Never lecturing, but instead revealing an intimate glimpse of a man's family and his compassionate, troubled heart, the winner of the documentary grand jury prize is Debra Granik's Stray Dog."


Documentary Award

Honorable Mention:      
 Walking Under Water, directed by Eliza Kubarska
Producer:          
 Monika Braid
Film Description:  In the crystal clear waters off the coast of Borneo, a unique way of life threatens to disappear forever. For generations, the Badjao were oceanic nomads, living in harmony with the sea as fishermen and free divers. Nowadays, however, only a few Badjao remain, like Alexan, who still remembers the old ways. He hopes to pass his knowledge along to his ten-year-old nephew Sari, but time and opportunities are running out. Sari loves the sea, but it can only offer a hard life of subsistence fishing, while the nearby tourist resort sings a siren song of easy money.  Through the sensitive direction of Eliza Kubarska and remarkable underwater cinematography, Walking Under Water provides a haunting portrait of timeless traditions struggling to survive in the modern world.

In bestowing Eliza Kubarska with the Honorable Mention, the Jury stated:
"For its deeply moving account of human struggle in the natural and spirit worlds, told with both harrowing immediacy and stunning visual poetry, an honorable mention goes to Eliza Kubarska's Walking Under Water."


LA Muse Award
Winner:    
Los Ángeles by Damian John Harper
Producers:
Jonas Weydemann, Jakob D. Weydemann
Cast:       
Mateo Bautísta Matías, Marcos Rodriguez Ruíz, Lidia García, Daniel Bautista, Donaciano Bautista Matías

Film Description:  The perilous ambitions for a better life weigh heavy on the youth of a Zapotec community in rural Oaxaca. Young Mateo plans to raise money for the coyote who will smuggle him across the border and ingratiates himself with the local gang, seeking protection on the other side. Yet when his conscience catches up with him, not even the fearless mothers of their agrarian village can protect him. Forced to gather his courage and embark on a suicidal journey, Mateo's goal becomes less a physical destination and more a dangerous rite of passage. Damian John Harper's directorial debut subverts the conventions of the gang genre and transcends the ethnographic approach by knitting together the multiple perspectives of his diverse characters, who are magnetically played by non-actors.

The LA Muse Award carries an unrestricted cash prize of $5,000. A special jury selects the winner, and all LA Muse films were eligible.

In bestowing Damian John Harper with the LA Muse Award, the Jury stated:
"Our Jury Award goes to Los Ángeles, directed by John Damian Harper, for its cinematic, acute ethnographic observations, featuring an amazing cast of indigenous actors, whose performances strengthen the mesmerizing story of a community held hostage by the American dream."


Best Performance in the Narrative Competition
Winner:     
The Ensemble Cast of Recommended by Enrique, directed by  Rania Attieh and Daniel García
Producers:  
Rania Attieh, Daniel García, Ivan Eibuszyc, Mahalia Cohen, Alice Kharoubi
Cast:     
Lino Vareia, Sarah Swinwood
Film Description:  An aspiring Hollywood actress working on her first feature--a no-budget horror flick oddly crewed by enthusiastic teenagers--and a cowboy on a mysterious job arrive in the small border town of Del Rio, Texas, each with their own very clear agenda. When the starlet's film director and the cowboy's associate both fail to appear, however, there's nothing to do but wait and see. Dusty Del Rio quickly becomes a strange way station where time seems to stand still and things are not what they seem. Basing their film on an amusing, bizarre true story they delight in elaborating on, filmmakers Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia and their brilliant cast of newcomers weave a mesmerizing, witty fable that blurs the borders between dreams and reality.
In bestowing the ensemble cast of Recommended by Enrique with the Best Performance Award, the jury stated:
"We recognize the freshness and wacked-out spontaneity of the ensemble cast of Recommended by Enrique."


Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature  
Winner:   
The Young Kieslowski, directed by Kerem Sanga
Producers:
Seth Caplan, Danny Leiner, Dave Hunter, Ross Putman
Cast:   
Ryan Malgarini, Haley Lu Richardson, Joshua Malina, Melora Walters, James Le Gros, Osric Chau, Jessica Lu, John Redlinger
Film Description:  Grand romantic gestures need not apply in this comedic tale of star-crossed young love. Instead, freshman Brian Kieslowski displays endless reserves of bumbling awkwardness as he goes home with a girl for the first time... and then learns that he got her pregnant... with twins... all while she's going through a rather inconvenient Christianity phase. Could it be that being the good guy and doing what's right are two very different things? With writer/director Kerem Sanga presenting a seriocomic gauntlet for them to negotiate, Ryan Malgarini and Haley Lu Richardson deliver delightfully nimble performances, hitting all the right off-notes as two kids in just over their heads, whose luck seems as bad as their instincts. The fates may have conspired to prematurely drag them into adulthood, but they intend on going kicking and screaming.
This award is given to the narrative feature audiences liked most as voted by a tabulated rating system. Select narrative feature-length films screening in the following sections were eligible for the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature: Galas, Narrative Competition, International Showcase, Summer Showcase, LA Muse, Community Screenings and The Beyond.


Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
Winner:     
 Meet the Patels, directed by Geeta V. Patel and Ravi V. Patel
Producers:
 Janet Eckholm, Geeta V. Patel
Featuring:   
 Ravi V. Patel, Vasant K. Patel, Champa V. Patel
Film Description:  Largely inexperienced in the art of courtship, L.A.-based actor Ravi Patel is suddenly thrown into the deep end of the dating pool when he reluctantly consents to letting his parents find him an ideal Indian bride. As he embarks on a multi-date tour across North America, however, the self-effacing suitor can't help but wonder whether his quest represents a laudable acceptance of cherished traditions or a pathetic surrender to his own deep-seated insecurities. Co-directed by Ravi and his sister Geeta, this sharp, funny documentary is fueled by the comic banter and confessional asides that can transpire only between siblings. Meanwhile, their doting parents are the sort of larger-than-life characters that most Hollywood screenwriters can only dream of creating. If only all family videos were this enthralling and packed with plot twists.

This award is given to the documentary feature audiences liked most as voted by a tabulated rating system. Select documentary feature-length films screening in the following sections were eligible for the Audience Award for Best Documentary
Feature: Documentary Competition, International Showcase, Summer Showcase, LA Muse and Community Screenings.


Audience Award for Best International Feature
Winner:   
Someone You Love, directed by Pernille Fischer Christensen
Country:  
Denmark
Producers:  
Vinca Wiedemann, Sisse Graum Jørgensen
Cast:      
Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Sofus Rønnov, Eve Best
Film Description:  After many years living in L.A., a world-famous, hard-living Danish singer-songwriter (think a Nordic Leonard Cohen) returns to his homeland to record a new album. Solitary, self-absorbed and nursing his hard-won sobriety, he holes up in a luxurious country home and buries himself in his music, his only passion in life. His solitude is rudely interrupted by the arrival of his troubled, coke-snorting daughter, who deposits her 11-year-old son in his lap. Mikael Persbrandt is extraordinary as the gravel-voiced egotist forced to rediscover his deeply buried humanity in award-winning Danish director Pernille Fischer Christensen's moving, immaculately crafted family drama.
This award is given to the international feature audiences liked most as voted by a tabulated rating system. Select international feature-length films, both narrative and documentary, screening in the following sections were eligible for the Audience Award for Best International Feature: Narrative Competition, Documentary Competition, International Showcase, Summer Showcase and The Beyond.


Award for Best Narrative Short Film
Winner:     
The Runaway, directed by Jean-Bernard Marlin. France.
Producer:  
Valentine de Bligniéres
Cast:     
Adel Bencherif, Médina Yalaoui
Description:  A youth worker tries desperately to save an unstable teenage girl charged with multiple crimes.
In bestowing Jean-Bernard Marlin the Best Narrative Short Film Award, the Jury stated:
"We were moved by this depiction of a troubled teenage delinquent through the eyes of her youth councilor. It gave us unique insight into this world from a different POV. Excellent direction and performances!"


Award for Best Documentary Short Film
Winner:   
 The Queen, directed by Manuel Abramovich. Argentina.
Producer:  
 Daniela Raschcovsky        
Description:  A young beauty queen endures the pain of getting a massive headdress attached to her head.
In bestowing Manuel Abramovich with the Award for Best Documentary Short Film Award, the Jury stated:
"We found its use of unwavering perspective particularly unique and incredibly effective. It's a documentary with an opinion that avoids didacticism entirely and offers an often unseen glimpse into the behind the scenes culture of the Carnival."


Award for Best Animated/Experimental Short Film
Winner:
Butter Lamp, directed by Hu Wei. China/France
Producer:
Julien Féret
Cast:
Genden Punstock
Description:  Cultures clash as traditional Tibetan families pose in front of backdrops of far away locales.
In bestowing Hu Wei with the Award for Best Animated or Experimental Short Film Award, the Jury stated:
"Blurring the line between fiction and reality and telling a insightful, moving story in an unconventional way is what really set this film apart. With a camera that never moves, no named characters, and no discernible plot, the film manages to take a simple, experimental idea and in only a few minutes make a powerful statement about family, tradition, and impending technological changes encroaching on a small community."


Audience Award for Best Short Film
Winner:   
The Gunfighter, directed by Eric Kissack
Producer:  
Sarah Platt
Cast:   
Nick Offerman, Shawn Parsons, Scottt Beehner, Eileen O'Connell, Jordan Black
Film Description:  Characters in a Western discover each others' secrets from an evil off-screen narrator.
Awarded to the short film audiences liked most as voted on by a tabulated rating system. Short films screening in the Shorts Programs or before Narrative Competition, Documentary Competition, International Showcase, LA Muse or The Beyond feature-length screenings were eligible for the Audience Award for Best Short Film.


Audience Award for Best Music Video
Winner:
Turn Down For What: Lil Jon and DJ Snake directed by Daniels
Music:
Lil Jon & DJ Snake
This award is given to the music video audiences liked most as voted on by a tabulated rating system.
To download images and clips from the winning films, please visit www.filmindependent.org and click on Press, then Press Materials.


ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES FILM FESTIVALNow in its 20th year, the Los Angeles Film Festival, presented by Film Independent, showcases diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision in new American and international cinema, and provides the movie-loving public with one-of-a-kind events featuring critically acclaimed filmmakers, film industry professionals, and emerging talent from around the world. The Festival's signature programs include the Filmmaker Retreat, Music in Film at The GRAMMY Museum®, Celebrating Women Filmmakers, Master Classes, Spirit of Independence Award, LA Muse and more. Nearly 200 features, shorts, and music videos, representing 40 countries, make up the main body of the Festival. The Festival also screens short films created by high school students and a special section devoted to music videos. The Festival hosts juried cash awards for best narrative and documentary features, best narrative, documentary and animated short film, and a jury award for best performance in the narrative competition. Audience awards are presented to best documentary, narrative and international feature, short film and music video. The Los Angeles Film Festival is presented in conjunction with Presenting Media Sponsor the Los Angeles Times. The Official Host Venue is Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14. Subaru is the Official Automotive Sponsor. Relativity is a Principal Sponsor. Platinum Sponsors include HBO, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Stella Artois, Dolby Laboratories, Inc., Canon U.S.A., Inc. and EFILM. The University Sponsor is Loyola Marymount University's School of Film and Television. Renwood Winery is the Official Wine Provider. Tanqueray is the Official Gin Provider. The Los Angeles Athletic Club is the Official Host Hotel. WireImage is the Official Photography Agency and PR Newswire is the Official Breaking News Service of Film Independent. More information can be found at lafilmfest.com.


ABOUT FILM INDEPENDENTFilm Independent is a non-profit arts organization that champions independent film and supports a community of artists who embody diversity, innovation and uniqueness of vision. Film Independent helps filmmakers make their movies, builds an audience for their projects and works to diversify the film industry. Film Independent's Board of Directors, filmmakers, staff and constituents, is comprised of an inclusive community of individuals across ability, age, ethnicity, gender, race and sexual orientation. Anyone passionate about film can become a member, whether you are a filmmaker, industry professional or a film lover. Film Independent produces the Spirit Awards, the annual celebration honoring artist-driven films and recognizing the finest achievements of American independent filmmakers. Film Independent also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, showcasing the best of American and international cinema and the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, a year-round, weekly program that offers unique cinematic experiences for the Los Angeles creative community and the general public. With over 250 annual screenings and events, Film Independent provides access to a network of like-minded artists who are driving creativity in the film industry. Film Independent's Artist Development program offers free Labs for selected writers, directors, producers and documentary filmmakers and presents year-round networking opportunities. Project Involve is Film Independent's signature program dedicated to fostering the careers of talented filmmakers from communities traditionally underrepresented in the film industry. For more information or to become a member, visit filmindependent.org.


ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES TIMESThe Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of 1.5 million and 2.6 million on Sunday, more than 22 million unique latimes.com visitors monthly and a combined print and online local weekly audience of 4 million. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Times has been covering Southern California for more than 132 years. The Los Angeles Times Media Group (LATMG) businesses and affiliates also include The Envelope, Times Community News, and Hoy Los Angeles, which, combined with the flagship Los Angeles Times, reach approximately 5.2 million or 38% of all adults in the Southern California marketplace. LATMG also owns California Community News, LLC, operates Tribune Direct LA, and is part of Tribune Company, one of the country's leading media companies with businesses in publishing, the Internet and broadcasting. Additional information is available at latimes.com/aboutus.


ABOUT L.A. LIVEL.A. LIVE is a 4 million square foot / $3 billion downtown Los Angeles sports and entertainment district adjacent to STAPLES Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center featuring Club Nokia, a 2,300 capacity live music venue, Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, a 7,100-seat live theatre, a 54-story, 1001-room convention "headquarters" destination (featuring The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles and JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE hotels and 224 luxury condominiums – The Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE – all in a single tower), The GRAMMY Museum®, the 14-screen Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 theatre, broadcast facilities for ESPN along with entertainment, residential, restaurant and office space. Developed by Los Angeles-based AEG, L.A. LIVE, considered to be the nation's most active 'live content and event campus,' also features 260,480 sf of conference center and ballroom facilities, a 100,000 sf special events deck, the famous Lucky Strike Lanes and Lounge, the celebrity owned Conga Room, a one-of-a-kind GRAMMY Museum®, saluting the history of music and the genre's best known awards show all centered around Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE, a 40,000 sf outdoor event space. L.A. LIVE showcases more events, award shows, sporting competitions, concerts and hospitality options than any other destination in the world. Visit L.A. LIVE today at http://www.lalive.com.

SOURCE Film Independent
CONTACT: Alia Quart Khan, Film Independent, Tel: 310.432.1287 or aqkhan@filmindependent.org; Gina Lang, Ginsberg/Libby, Tel: 323.645.6800 or gina.lang@ginsberglibby.com


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Thursday, June 19, 2014

IFC Makes $9.5 Million Investment in Jabi Lake Shopping Mall in Nigeria


WASHINGTON, 19 June 2014 / PRNewswire Africa / - Lagos, Nigeria, June 19, 2014 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group today announced a $9.5 million investment in Jabi Lake Mall to support demand for modern business infrastructure and retail space in Abuja,Nigeria. The project will help create about 350 construction jobs and 900 long-term, retail-sector jobs.


The $120 million Jabi Lake Shopping Mall is being built on five hectares of land on the Jabi Lake waterfront at Jabi, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.


Once complete, it will be Nigeria's largest shopping mall with over 30,000 square meters of shopping space. The project's primary sponsor is the Actis Africa Real Estate Fund 2. Duval Properties is the joint venture partner alongside Actis.


Ms. Amanda Jean Baptiste, Director, Actis Africa Real Estate Fund 2, said,“Investing in the Jabi Lake Mall demonstrates Actis's commitment to developing world-class retail destinations and adding to the domestic infrastructure in Nigeria, as well as our support for the growing demands of a rapidly changing economy. Our partnership with IFC will help us draw on their expertise in international best practice in the environmental and social aspects of the project that affect property development.”


Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, IFC Country Manager for Nigeria, said, “Our investment is part of IFC's strategy to help strengthen business infrastructure, contribute to economic growth, and increase job opportunities in Nigeria. Actis is a strong partner in this regard, that can also transfer best modern retail practices” Jabi Lake Mall will be the largest retail development of international standard in Abuja and create links to the local economy throughout its construction and operation. It will create new sales channels for Nigerian retailers, including local small and medium enterprises. Its construction will provide business opportunities for local suppliers of food,construction materials and services, and will serve as a catalyst for urban development in the area around the mall.


Construction began on the project in late 2013 and is expected to be completed in 2015.
SOURCE International Finance Corporation (IFC)


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