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Future Pop Stars Risk Their Lives To Sing for Freedom

Written by: Bluedog89

Award-winning film "Afghan Star - The Documentary." Promotional poster by Zeitgeist Films.

The award-winning “Afghan Star – The Documentary,” showcases the “American Idol”-like pop competition “Afghan Star” that is sweeping Afghanistan.

Since the TV show’s inception in 2005, its popularity has spread like wildfire, with “Afghan Star” contestants chosen despite gender and voted on democratically by the general public via cell phone.

The documentary follows several contest participants as they literally sing for their lives, particularly the women, who are judged harshly by the still-mostly conservative public that was once dominated by the Taliban.

The film is available on DVD and will be featured on HBO this month.

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Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief” Video highlights

Thanks to everyone who joined us for a night of great music and a show of support for the people of Haiti

Posted by: Audiegrl

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President Obama Signs Legislation

President Obama Signs Legislation Providing Immediate Tax Deductions for Haiti Charitable Contributions January 22, 2010.

President Obama Is Making It Easier for Americans to Support Haiti
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In the days since the earthquake in Haiti, Americans have shown their generosity with millions of dollars in donations. Tonight, President Obama signed a bill into law that makes it easier to give. This legislation will allow taxpayers to receive the tax benefit from donations made to the Haiti effort in this tax season, rather than having to wait until they file their 2010 tax returns next year. Specifically, cash donations to charities for the Haitian relief effort given after January 11 and before March 1 of this year may be treated as if the contribution was made on December 31 of last year so that the contribution can be deducted from 2009 income. This measure applies to monetary donations, not goods or services.


Clinton Bush Haiti Relief FundUNICEFAmerican Red Cross

WFP:  World Food ProgrammePartners In Health Oxfam America
Yéle Haiti

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Wyclef Jean Joins George Clooney To Lead MTV’s ‘Hope For Haiti Now’ Telethon

Two-hour global telethon will air Friday, January 22

Wyclef Jean

Wyclef Jean

Wyclef Jean will join George Clooney and CNN’s Anderson Cooper in hosting MTV Networks’ “Hope for Haiti Now,” the global two hour telethon to air commercial-free across ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1, and CMT plus CNN International, National Geographic and MTV on Friday, January 22, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Hope for Haiti Now” will feature performances and celebrity appearances to be announced in the coming days, as well as live news reports from CNN. Clooney will host from Los Angeles, Wyclef Jean will be in New York and Anderson Cooper will be live from the devastation, with the Hollywood actor lining up a who’s who of guests to drop by and perform on the night.

All proceeds will be split evenly among five relief organizations who are on the ground helping the people of Haiti: Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF and Yele Haiti Foundation. Both Facebook and MySpace have signed on as official social-media partners to help steer viewers to the telethon and drive donations.

Celebrities across the fame spectrum have harnessed social-networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to rally support for the Haitian people, announcing their personal donations or directing their fans to contribute to deserving aid groups.

Yele Haiti FoundationHaitian-born musician Wyclef Jean has become the unofficial face of this celebrity humanitarian movement. More than $1 million has flooded in to Jean’s Yéle Haiti since Tuesday, according the charity’s fund-raising organizers. The Hollywood Foreign Press announced it would donate $100,000 to Yéle, while figures such as Lindsay Lohan, MC Hammer, and Haitian-born soccer star Jozy Altidor have tweeted their support for Jean’s cause.

Producing the telethon will be Joel Gallen, who produced the 9/11 telethon “America: A Tribute to Heroes” that aired 10 days after that tragedy.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that several other celebrities are using their social clout and talent to direct attention to Haiti.

  • Lance ArmstrongCyclist Lance Armstrong announced to his 2.3 million Twitter followers that his Livestrong foundation had pledged $250,000 to two humanitarian aid groups.
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  • Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Actors-turned-philanthropists Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have donated $1 million to the Doctors Without Borders organization; Oprah began her talk show Wednesday by asking viewers to contribute to the Red Cross; Coldplay front man Chris Martin is urging his fans to donate to Haiti via Oxfam; and even Paris Hilton promoted the efforts of the Red Cross via Twitter.
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  • David BlaineMeanwhile, magician David Blaine is taking a slightly more hands-on approach. At 9 a.m. Friday, Blaine started what will be a 72-hour, nonstop “Magic Marathon” in Times Square. Benefits of the event and all proceeds from his online store will be given to the Red Cross.
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  • RihannaBut George Clooney isn’t the only celeb tapping his golden connections. East Coast nightlife guru Unik Ernest, whose Edeyo Foundation supports community-building projects in Haiti, has begun organizing a telethon and benefit concert. While the date of the event is yet to be released, celebrities said to be featured include: Rihanna, Usher, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Mark Wahlberg, Jay-Z, Susan Sarandon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and others, according to Tonic.com.

Celebrity support of the Haitian people has contributed to the success of this week’s aid efforts. The American Red Cross reported Wednesday evening that in the 48 hours following the quake some $35 million in donations had poured in – more than it had received in the two days following Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunamis.

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George Clooney Haiti Relief Telethon Planned For January 22

Posted by: Audiegrl

Update: On Friday, Jan. 22, George Clooney will host a live telethon to benefit earthquake victims in Haiti. Clooney’s rep says the telethon is now set to air on all of the MTV channels worldwide, along with ABC, NBC, HBO, and CNN. The show will air 8-10 p.m. ET.

Actor & Activist George Clooney

Actor & Activist George Clooney

MTV Networks is working with George Clooney to stage a telethon for Haitian earthquake relief. MTV spokesman Mark Jafar said Thursday that details are still being worked out. Thousands are feared dead after the massive earthquake, and the Caribbean island nation desperately needs aid.

Clooney’s representative Stan Rosenfield said the actor is in the process of helping organize the telethon, which likely would air on Friday January 22 on all MTV Networks – which include VH1, Comedy Central and CMT – as well as on ABC, NBC, HBO and CNN.

Clooney first mentioned the event to Roger Friedman of The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday night at a private reception for his movie Up in the Air.

Clooney has already secured producer Joel Gallen, the person who handled the famous 9-11 telethon on all the networks, to produce the upcoming show. As reported by Friedman, Clooney asked Sting to participate in the telethon. Sting agreed and simply asked, “Where do I go?”. Clooney is putting out the call today to all his celebrity friends and performers to participate from both coasts.

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Help for Haiti~Learn What You Can Do

Complete Haiti Relief Coverage Main PageHaiti Relief Coverage Main Page

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HBO’s True Blood: Our Guiltiest Pleasure

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In the not-too-distant future, vampires have “come out of the coffin”. Thanks to the invention of mass-produced synthetic blood, vampires no longer need humans for their fix and can walk freely, if not yet comfortably, among their living counterparts – though they can still come out only at night.

Meanwhile, in the backwoods Louisiana town of Bon Temps, Sookie Stackhouse works as a waitress at the down-home bar Merlotte’s. Though outwardly normal, she has unusual qualities of her own: Sookie can read minds, which complicates her world in endless ways. But Sookie’s life becomes a lot more interesting when Merlotte’s gets its first vampire patron – the 173-year-old Bill Compton – and the two outsiders are immediately drawn to each other.

True Blood is HBO drama series created and produced by Alan Ball. It’s based on the The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris. It premiered on September 7, 2008.

Ball and Harris use vampires as a on-screen metaphor of the Gay communities quest for rights and equality. Through out the show the parallels can readily be seen. During the opening credit sequence there is a lone highway sign reads “God Hates Fangs”, vampires are said to “come out of the coffin”, and it’s mentioned that Vermont was the first state to legalize marriage between humans and vampires.

True Blood mixes horror, drama, comedy, sex and all other genres in an occasionally uneven but always entertaining show. Just think of it like this…True Blood is like Twilight for grown-ups…~~Audiegrl

True Blood Characters

sookie

Sookie Stackhouse

Portrayed by Anna Paquin
Raised by her grandmother alongside her brother Jason after her parents were killed on a bridge in a flash flood. Grew up with people thinking she was crazy, when really she just couldn’t handle hearing everyone’s thoughts all the time. Her parents once sent her to a therapist as a child. Though Sookie tried to explain she could hear people’s thoughts, the therapist convinced herself and Sookie’s parents that Sookie could just naturally interpret people’s body language. Never really dated anyone because she could always hear the crude, sex-crazed thoughts of her dates. Lived her entire life filtering out people’s thoughts until she met vampire Bill Compton whose vamp mind she couldn’t hear at all.

Best Line: “You might be a vampire, but you will respect me and treat me like the lady I am

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bill

Bill Compton

Portrayed by Stephen Moyer
Bill was born in April 9, 1835. He lived in Bon Temps, Louisiana and fought for the South during the Civil War. He was a married farmer with three children. In 1868, on his way home from the war, he was made a vampire by Lorena, with whom he had a long and stormy relationship. His return to his ancestral home of Bon Temps has been anything but tranquil. In love with Sookie–and struggling to reconcile their complicated lives–Bill also finds himself warding off threats from a growing cadre of powerful vampires. Throw in the responsibilities of his newly turned fledgling Jessica, and its almost enough to make Bill yearn for the good old days of lurking in the shadows.

Best Line: “You are different. The beauty and the tragedy of it is you don’t know how different you are.”

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eric

Eric Northman

Portrayed by Alexander Skarsgård
Born in 1046, made Vampire in 1077. As a teenager in Ninth century Scandinavia, Eric joined with a rogue band of warriors who refused to swear allegiance to any kingdom because, in his own words, “My destiny is to answer to no man.” Eric quickly became the leader of the group, which was briefly infamous for marauding on the coast of what is now Germany and Poland, until they mysteriously vanished after a battle in 1077. Eric did not speak about how he was made Vampire, or who made him, but has recently revealed that Godric is his Maker. Eric is of Norse “Viking” descent. He “made” Pam and she has been his friend & coworker numerous times over the years. He owns the tourist-y gothic vampire bar called Fangtasia in Shreveport.

Best Line: “You know how you feel with my blood inside you? Well, being a vampire is like that… times a million.”

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Jason Stackhouse

Portrayed by Ryan Kwanten
Jason Stackhouse is Sookie’s older brother. He’s the handsome philanderer of Bon Temps. His best friend is Hoyt Fortenberry.
Jason was accused of murdering four women. The first two, known as “fang-bangers,” were Dawn Green and Maudette Pickens. The other two were the “V” addict and short-time waitress at Merlotte’s, Amy Hurley, and his own grandmother, Adelle Stackhouse. However he got out of jail after the real killer, Rene Linier, was caught, who was one of his good friends. Jason was a briefly a member of the Fellowship of the Sun Church, a cult that believe vampires are abominations and all deserve to burn in hell.

Best Line: “I need something stronger, not true blood something better. You know something more like the color of the walls in here

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sam

Sam Merlotte

Portrayed by Sam Trammell
Ever since vampires arrived in bon Temps, manning the local bar has felt a lot more like running an asylum. Amidst the commotion, Sam has yet to come to terms with his own crisis–that he’s a shapeshifter living secretly among humans. Sam was adopted. When his adopted family started realising that there was something different about Sam they started distancing themselves from him. His Stepmother witnessed Sam shape-shifting into a dog as Sam ran into the woods. One day Sam returned home to an empty house. His adoptive parents had left. He had been abandoned. And as long as he keeps running from his past and hiding the truth from those he’s closest to, it will continue to haunt him.

Best Line: “I’m a social animal

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tara

Tara Thornton

Portrayed by Rutina Wesley
Ever the sharp wit, Tara can tell something is fishy about her new living arrangements with Maryann Forrester and company. But after being kicked out, condemned and disowned by a mother who’s done nothing but abuse her, Tara has no intention of hunting down more troubles. Though she won’t win any congeniality awards, Tara has been Sookie’s loyal best friend since childhood. She’s built up a tough exterior by taking care of her alcoholic mother at home, but the stress can make her quick to anger. She may have found her perfect job at Merlottes Bar, where she can turn her temper to keep unruly customers in line. Still, she has a soft spot in her heart for Sookie and her brother, Jason.

Best Line: I’m an excellent driver. But you can not prepare for a naked lady and a hog in the middle of the road!

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charlaineharrissm

NYT Bestselling Author Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris has been a published novelist for over twenty-five years. A native of the Mississippi Delta, she grew up in the middle of a cotton field. Now she lives in southern Arkansas with her husband, her three children, three dogs, and a duck. The duck stays outside.

Harris decided to write the book she’d always wanted to write. Not a traditional mystery, nor yet pure science fiction or romance, Dead Until Dark broke genre boundaries to appeal to a wide audience of people who just enjoy a good adventure. Each subsequent book about Sookie Stackhouse, telepathic Louisiana barmaid and friend to vampires, werewolves, and various other odd creatures, has drawn more readers. The southern vampire books are published in Japan, Great Britain, Greece, Germany, Thailand, Spain, France, and Russia.

Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries

Dead Until DarkLiving Dead in DallasClub DeadDead to the World
Dead As a DoornailDefinitely DeadAll Together DeadFrom Dead to WorseDead and GoneA Touch of Dead

True Blood Rocks the 2009 Scream Awards

The Scream Awards is an award show dedicated to the horror, sci-fi, and fantasy genres of feature films. Originally only having Scream Queen and Heroic Performance awards for actors, the personnel awards have expanded to include actors and actresses of all three recognized genres.

This year True Blood walked away with four awards.

    Best Horror Actor~~Steven Moyer
    Best Horror Actress~~Anna Paquin
    Best Horror Villain~~Alexander Skarsgård
    Best Horror TV Show~~True Blood

True Blood Fan Sites

HBO: True Blood

True Blood Fan Wiki

Loving True Blood in Dallas

Official Charlaine Harris Website

True-Blood.net

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HBO’s By The People: The Election of Barack Obama

bythepeopleelectionpremiere_novideoHBO—Nearly a year before Barack Obama announced his candidacy for the presidency on Feb. 10, 2007, filmmakers Amy Rice and Alicia Sams began to roll cameras on the young senator. Over the next 19 months, they found themselves traveling all across the country, chronicling the daily ups and downs of the campaign trail as experienced by Obama, his family, his staff and volunteers. While Obama’s meteoric rise to the White House has been well documented in the press, few have witnessed the behind-the- scenes story of the passionate campaigners who helped a young African-American freshman senator attain the nation’s highest office.

Producer/Actor Edward Norton

Producer/Actor Edward Norton

Rice conceived the idea of making a documentary about Obama long before the Illinois Senator announced his decision to run for president. Inspired by his oratorical skills and star appeal at the 2004 Democratic Convention, she set out to film his political career in 2006. Rice approached documentary producer Sams, who joined to co-direct and actor Edward Norton’s production company, Class 5, agreed to produce the project. After Norton approached Obama’s team with the idea, the senator agreed to grant the filmmakers what turned out to be unprecedented and exclusive access.

Initially, it wasn’t even about a presidential campaign; the idea was simply to examine the political experience of a promising young politician of our generation,” says Norton, a two-time Oscar® nominee.

For Rice, the project had an even more personal dimension. She lost her older brother in the Sept. 11 attacks on the Twin Towers – an event that galvanized her political awakening. Then she saw Obama’s 2004 convention speech on TV. Rice recalls, “That’s when the idea of making a political documentary came into my mind.”

Notes Sams, “It was clear that Obama was inspiring people to think differently about politics. We wanted to explore his impact and see where it would take both him and the country.”

From this unique vantage point, By The People captures the boundless fervor of the campaign’s volunteers, as well as the extraordinary skill and technical sophistication of its organizers. “I think people will look back on this campaign as one that was conducted with a real understanding of communication and organizing tools that were singular to that moment,” says Norton. “It was an historic new read on how you could do an end run around conventional political methodology and strategies.”

More @ hbologosmall

Premieres November 3 at 9pm ET

By The People: The Election of Barack Obama is a moving record of the Obama campaign’s history-making odyssey to the White House. Interwoven with the drama of the campaign is never-before-seen footage of Obama behind the scenes, as well as interviews and candid moments with wife Michelle Obama, the couple’s young daughters, Malia and Sasha, and senior campaign staff, volunteers, reporters, supporters and opponents. Watch the trailer.

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Wanda Sykes: I’ma Be Me: Behind The Scenes

Posted by Buellboy

Emmy® Winner Wanda Sykes Returns to HBO for Her Second Stand-up Comedy Special

wanda-sykes_283HBO—Longtime HBO favorite Wanda Sykes will return for her second solo special on the network, it was announced today by Nancy Geller, senior vice president, HBO Entertainment. To be taped before a live audience at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. this August for October debut, the special will feature the outspoken comic performing material featured in her current national stand-up tour.

Wanda Sykes is one of the sharpest, smartest comics around, and we can’t wait to hear what she has to say in this provocative new special,” noted Geller.

Sykes has been an HBO mainstay for many years. The Emmy®-nominated “Wanda Sykes: Sick and Tired,” her first solo special on the network, debuted in 2006. As one of the writers on “The Chris Rock Show,” she shared a 1997 Emmy® for Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program and also won Emmys® in 2002 and 2004 for her humorous commentaries on “Inside the NFL.” Her first book, “Yeah, I Said It,” was published In 2004.In addition, she has appeared frequently on Larry David’s hit HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and will be featured on the new season of the show, which kicks off Sept. 20.

Named one of Entertainment Weekly’s “25 Funniest People in America,” Sykes recently hosted the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, and will launch her own late-night network show this fall.

Go behind the scenes on Wanda Sykes new comedy special. The special premieres Saturday, October 10 at 10pm. For more information, log onto HBO.com.

Reviews

HuffPost Review: Wanda Sykes’s ‘I’ma Be Me

Meet RhythmDB…

RhythmDB

RhythmDB

RhythmDB wrote and produced the original song “I’ma Be Me” for Wanda Sykes HBO special. He also wrote and produced the first full length Solo CD “LushTECH” which will be released and available for purchase in October. This collection of original electronic, dance & chillout songs will take you around the world featuring seven different vocalists singing in languages including Arabic, Spanish, Hebrew, French, Portuguese, Hindi, & Engllish. RhythmDB’s writing and producing the original music and theme for an upcoming FOX TV show coming in November.

If you get a chance, check out his music @ www.RhythmDB.com

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