Wednesday, January 23, 2013

President Barack Obama: Declassified and Decoded?

From 1901, when the Secret Service first began protecting U.S. Presidents, to present day, we take you on a journey through Presidential codenames.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

2013 U.S. Presidential Inauguration Celebrates a President and a King

16 Jan 2013 18:32 Africa/Lagos

2013 U.S. Presidential Inauguration Celebrates a President and a King

Visitors to Washington, DC will celebrate two important African American leaders in one weekend with commemorative events, parades and community service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For only the second time in U.S. history, the 2013 Presidential Inauguration will coincide with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Jan. 21. Since 1986 when the third Monday of January was designated as a federally recognized holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr., only President Bill Clinton's second term inauguration has landed on the same day.

The visitors expected to arrive in Washington, DC this weekend will have the opportunity to celebrate two significant African American leaders at once. As President Barack Obama, the first African American to hold the Oval Office, is sworn in for his second term and the nation commemorates the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., visitors to DC have a chance to participate in a number of historic and community service events, while exploring the city.

Visitors can pay tribute to both President Obama and Dr. King in a number of ways. See where the President lives with a stroll past the White House; have a photo taken with Barack and Michelle Obama's wax figures at the President's Gallery at Madame Tussauds; or sit in the "Oval Office" at White House Gifts - and pick up a few commemorative items while there. Visit the new Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial on the National Mall, the first ever dedicated to a non-president and an African American; walk down the Lincoln Memorial steps where Dr. King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, or stop by The Willard Intercontinental Hotel where he finished writing the speech the night prior.

The nation's capital will honor both men by hosting a variety of events, parades and community service projects throughout the weekend including:

Saturday, Jan. 19:
  • Volunteers will participate in more than 1,300 service projects throughout Washington, DC's eight wards during Martin Luther King's Day of Service from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • This National Day of Service will kick off with a Service Summit on the National Mall featuring Honorary Chair Chelsea Clinton, Presidential Inaugural Committee Co-chair Eva Longoria, singer-songwriter Ben Folds, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, television personality Star Jones, actress Angela Bassett and many more.
  • The 35th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace and Freedom Walk will take place at three different sites – the Southwest, Southeast and Shepard Park – to symbolize King's march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.
  • The Kids' Inaugural Concert, hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, will feature performances by Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, Katy Perry, Usher and Stevie Wonder at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Sunday, Jan. 20:
  • President Obama will participate in a small private swearing-in ceremony as mandated by law.
  • The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University will host a musical celebration called "Let Freedom Ring" featuring Smokey Robinson and the Let Freedom Ring choir in a free Millennium Stage concert at 6 p.m.
  • The Music Center at Strathmore will host a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Tribute and Celebration and will announce the recipients of the Children of the Dream Award, The Literary Arts Award and the Humanitarian Award at 3 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 21:
  • Federal offices and many public and private businesses across the nation will close in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
  • President Obama will participate in a public Swearing-in Ceremony at the U.S. Capitol Building at 11:30 a.m. EST.
  • The 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade will escort President Obama from the Capitol to the White House along Pennsylvania Avenue at 2:30 p.m. EST. Participants will include representatives from each of the five branches of the Armed Services, all 50 states and a variety of national groups.
  • The Inaugural Ball, held across all 700,000 square feet of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center's five exhibit halls, is expected to draw more than 35,000 revelers including A-list performances by Smokey Robinson, Marc Anthony, John Legend, Nick Cannon and the cast of "Glee."
  • The Commander In Chief's Ball will draw more than 4,000 active-duty and reserve military troops, Medal of Honor recipients and wounded warriors. This gala will take place at the third-floor ballroom of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Tuesday, Jan. 22:
  • The Inaugural National Prayer Service will take place at 10:30 a.m. EST at the Washington National Cathedral with the President and Vice President. The private service will include prayer, readings and musical performances.
For more information, please visit
About Destination DC
Destination DC, the lead destination marketing organization for the nation's capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of more than 800 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities. 
SOURCE Destination DC
CONTACT: Robin McClain, Destination DC, +1-202-789-7099,, Alicia Malone, Destination DC, +1-202-789-7053,
Web Site:

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln and Skyfall Make ASC Nominations

Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC (Anna Karenina), Danny Cohen, BSC (Les Misérables), Claudio Miranda, ASC (Life of Pi), Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln) and Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC (Skyfall) have been nominated in the feature film category of the 27th Annual American Society of Cinematographers Awards for Outstanding Achievement. The winner will be announced at the ASC Awards celebration on February 10 at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom.

“The films our members have nominated are visually distinctive, and very diverse: a theatrical epic, a grand musical, an imaginative 3-D fable, a sweeping biographical drama, and a stylish spy thriller,” notes ASC President Stephen Lighthill. “What they all have in common is that each project’s cinematographer contributed captivating visuals that enhanced and elevated the storytelling.”
This year’s nod brings Deakins’ total to 11. He won ASC Awards for The Shawshank Redemption (1995) and The Man Who Wasn’t There (2002). His other nominations were for Fargo (1997), Kundun (1998), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2001), No Country for Old Men (2008), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2008), Revolutionary Road (2009), The Reader (2009) and True Grit (2011). He was also the recipient of the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.
This is Kaminski’s fifth nomination. His prior nominations were for Schindler’s List (1994), Amistad (1998), Saving Private Ryan (1999) and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2008). Cohen, McGarvey and Miranda have all been recognized once previously – Cohen for The King’s Speech (2011); McGarvey for Atonement (2008); and Miranda for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2009). The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) invites you to attend its Annual ASC Open House In attendance will be ASC Award Honorees, Nominees and Esteemed Members. Saturday, February 9, 2013 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. There will be no onsite or validated parking. Please use the lots at Hollywood and Highland. submit to reddit

Monday, January 14, 2013

Golden Moments @ the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards

There are always unforgettable golden moments at the Golden Globes and the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards show at the Beverly Hilton did not fail to bring out the best of Hollywood in glitz and razzmatazz. TALK OF THE TOWN presents the list of all the winners and the video of the golden moments.

Jennifer Lawrence

Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Silver Linings Playbook

Motion Picture, Drama: Argo
Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical: Les Misérables
Actor in Motion Picture, Drama: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
 Actress in Motion Picture, Drama: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Actor in Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical: Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Supporting Actress in Motion Picture: Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Director, Motion Picture: Ben Affleck, Argo
Screenplay, Motion Picture: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Foreign Language Film: Amour (Austria)
Animated Feature Film: Brave
Original Score, Motion Picture: Mychael Danna, Life of Pi
Original Song, Motion Picture: "Skyfall," Skyfall, Adele & Paul Epworth.

TV Series, Drama: Homeland
TV Series, Comedy: Girls
TV Movie or Miniseries: Game Change
Actor in a TV Series, Drama: Damian Lewis, Homeland
Actress in a TV Series, Drama: Claire Danes, Homeland
Actor in a TV Series, Comedy: Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Actress in a TV Series, Comedy: Lena Dunham, Girls
Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie: Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys
Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie: Julianne Moore, Game Change
Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie: Ed Harris, Game Change
Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Cecil B. DeMille Award: Jodie Foster

Click here to see all the nominees and winners at the event as reported by E Online!.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

African American Girl Quvenzhané Wallis Becomes Youngest Oscar Nominee for Best Actress

Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) and her father, Wink (Dwight Henry) in a scene from "Beasts of the Southern Wild".

Amazing Quvenzhané Wallis has become the youngest person to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in the 85 years history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Louisiana-born 9-year-old screen sensation has received critical acclaim for her unforgettable role of six-year-old Hushpuppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild. President Barack Obama described the film as "spectacular" and majority of leading film critics have named it one of the top best films of 2012.

Quvenzhané Wallis at the 85th Academy Awards Nominations Announcement on Thursday, January 10th, 2013.

The youngest actress previously nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role is Keisha Castle-Hughes who was nominated for "Whale Rider" at age 13. But can Wallis make history by also becoming the youngest actress to win it on Oscar night of February 24? Can she beat the other nominees, Jessica Chastain for "Zero Dark Thirty," Jennifer Lawrence for "Siver Linings Playbook," Naomi Watts for "The Impossible," and Emmanuelle Riva (the oldest nominee ever at 85) for "Amour"?
As we say in Africa, it is possible!

Blast of sheer, improbable joy, a boisterous, thrilling action movie with a protagonist who can hold her own... Hushpuppy, the 6-year-old heroine of 'Beasts of the Southern Wild,' has a smile to charm fish out of the water and a scowl so fierce it can stop monsters in their tracks.
~ A. O. Scott, in The New York Times.

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" has a total of four nominations including Wallis' for Best Actress, Best Picture, Best Director for Benh Zeitlin, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The film won the Caméra d'Or award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival where it had its world premiere, Grand Jury Prize at the Deauville American Film Festival, Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival, Golden Space Needle Award for Best Director at the Seattle International Film Festival and the Sutherland Trophy for Most Innovative Debut.

The 85th annual Academy Awards will take place on February 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, California. And will be hosted by Seth MacFarlane.
Click here for the full list of Nominees for the 85th Academy Awards.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot

3 Jan 2013 20:00 Africa/Lagos

National Geographic Channel Partners With Scott Free Productions To Produce Best-Selling Author Bill O'Reilly Follow-up 'Killing Kennedy'

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the tremendous success of the National Geographic Channel's first feature film SEAL Team Six and in anticipation of the upcoming world premiere of Killing Lincoln in February 2013, National Geographic Channel President Howard T. Owens announced today that the network once again will join forces with Scott Free Productions to produce a two-hour film based on Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot, Bill O'Reilly's latest New York Times best-selling book with co-author Martin Dugard.

The two-hour factual drama will stay true to the narrative storytelling devices used by O'Reilly in the book, which recounts the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy — and how a sequence of gunshots in Dallas not only killed a beloved president, but also propelled the nation into the Vietnam War and a cultural change.

"The common parallels between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy are astonishing, with both assassinations profoundly changing the nation during crucial moments in its history. It made perfect sense that my follow-up to Lincoln would naturally lead to Kennedy," said author Bill O'Reilly. "While Kennedy's assassination continues to garner many conspiracy theories, our story is based on facts, some that haven't been publicly known. And with National Geographic Channel and Scott Free once again at the helm, I have the utmost trust and faith that they will bring the story of Kennedy and Camelot to life."

Production on the two-hour television event will begin this spring, combining rare historical insights and archives with dramatic and emotionally engaging storytelling in the signature style of the Scott brothers. Casting news will be announced shortly.

The special will premiere globally on the National Geographic Channel in 171 countries and 38 languages.

"Collaborating with National Geographic on Bill O'Reilly's follow-up was an easy decision. They share the same passion of storytelling, willing to take creative leaps and risks to keep viewers entertained to tell the provocative story of Kennedy's last days, a pivotal and historic moment," said Ridley Scott.

"With the tremendous success of SEAL Team Six, our first feature film, and the growing excitement over this February's premiere of Killing Lincoln, producing Bill O'Reilly's follow-up was a no-brainer and will be yet another story that will resonate with our audience," said Owens. "As Scott Free Productions continue to be perfect partners — taking risks and breaking new ground in storytelling — we are claiming a stake in producing factual dramas, delivering entertainment with substance."

About Killing Kennedy:
More than a million readers have thrilled to Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln, the page-turning work of nonfiction about the shocking assassination that changed the course of American history. Now the anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts in gripping detail the brutal murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy—and how a sequence of gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath.

In January 1961, as the Cold War escalates, John F. Kennedy struggles to contain the growth of Communism while he learns the hardships, solitude, and temptations of what it means to be president of the United States. Along the way he acquires a number of formidable enemies, among them Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and Alan Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In addition, powerful elements of organized crime have begun to talk about targeting the president and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy.

In the midst of a 1963 campaign trip to Texas, Kennedy is gunned down by an erratic young drifter named Lee Harvey Oswald. The former Marine Corps sharpshooter escapes the scene, only to be caught and shot dead while in police custody.

The events leading up to the most notorious crime of the twentieth century are almost as shocking as the assassination itself. Killing Kennedy chronicles both the heroism and deceit of Camelot, bringing history to life in ways that will profoundly move the reader. This may well be the most talked about book of the year.

About Bill O'Reilly :
Bill O'Reilly is the anchor of "The O'Reilly Factor," the highest-rated cable news show in the country. He also writes a syndicated newspaper column and is the author of several number-one best-selling books. He is perhaps the most talked-about political commentator in America.

About Scott Free Productions :
Scott Free Productions was formed in 1995 and is the film and television production vehicle of acclaimed film directors: brothers Ridley and Tony Scott. Scott Free Television produces the Emmy® and Golden Globe®-nominated, Peabody acclaimed drama, The Good Wife for CBS which is currently enjoying its fourth season, and the eight-hour adaptation of World Without End, Ken Follett's international best-seller featuring Cynthia Nixon, Ben Chaplin and Miranda Richardson on Reelz. Scott Free also produced the recent four-hour adaptation of Robin Cook's Coma for A&E, starring Geena Davis, James Woods, Richard Dreyfuss and Ellen Burstyn, the Emmy® and Golden Globe®-nominated mini-series The Pillars of The Earth for Starz, the hit CBS show NUMB3RS, which ran for six seasons, the Emmy®-nominated mini-series The Andromeda Strain, starring Benjamin Bratt and Viola Davis, also for A&E, as well as the Golden Globe® nominated The Company for TNT featuring Michael Keaton and Alfred Molina.

Productions in prep for 2013 include the film event Reykjavik, starring Michael Douglas as Ronald Reagan and Christoph Waltz as Mikhail Gorbachev, about the historic meeting between the two leaders which instigated the end of the Cold War; Klondike, Discovery Channel1s first ever scripted mini-series, based on Charlotte Gray1s book, about six strangers' fight for survival and wealth in a small, frontier boom town; and, for Showtime, The Vatican from Oscar® nominated writer Paul Attanasio, a modern-day political thriller, with Ridley Scott at the helm of his first-ever television pilot.

In addition to scripted fare, Scott Free has firmly established its nonfiction presence by producing the epic Emmy®-winning documentary Gettysburg for History Channel, and the upcoming documentary Killing Lincoln for National Geographic Channel.

Scott Free has offices in Los Angeles and London in conjunction with RSA Films, one of the world's largest and most successful commercial production houses.

National Geographic Channels
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Cable Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation's major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in 84 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in 440 million homes in 171 countries and 38 languages. For more information, visit

SOURCE National Geographic Channel

CONTACT: Chris Albert, National Geographic Channels, +1-202-912-6526,, for NGC; or Katherine Rowe, Slate PR, +1-310-461-0115,, for Scott Free Productions

Web Site:


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