Hollywood on the Potomac

'The Warrior Queen of Jhansi'

November 28, 2019

A crowd of about 250 of Washington’s social set and cinephiles gathered at the gracefully sweeping US Institute of Peace for the DC premiere of The Warrior Queen of Jhansi. The film tells the true story of the legendary Rani of Jhansi, a feminist icon in India and a fearless freedom fighter. In 1857 India this 24-year old General led her people into battle against the British Empire earning the reputation as the Joan of Arc of the East. Her insurrection shifted the balance of power in the region and set in motion the demise of the notorious British East India Company and the beginning of the British Raj under Queen Victoria.

Following the screening, the mother-daughter duo of Swati and Devika Bhise – director and lead actress of the film respectively (in addition to sharing the screen-writing credit), sat down with author and journalist Jay Newton-Small for a question and answer session. In hearing them discuss their motivation in making the film, it became clear what a remarkable character the Rani was, as educated as she was fearless. “In 1857, she stood up against men in a male-dominated world and was respected,” said Swati. “She must’ve known it was suicidal to take on the whole British army and the Empire, but she did what she had to do for her people, her beliefs and her principles. She lit the torch that gave India its freedom and democracy 90 years later.”

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'The Hoffa Wars'

November 24, 2019

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“I was writing about Hoffa and the Teamsters about eight months before Hoffa disappeared on July 30th, 1975. So when it was announced that Hoffa disappeared, I hit the ground running,” best-selling author of “The Hoffa Wars” told Hollywood on the Potomac during an exclusive sit down interview. “So here we are 44 years later and I’m still looking for him.” We sat down to talk about updates to the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa as the new Netflix drama “The Irishman” is poised to be widely released. As an expert, Dan Moldea has been following the case for over four decades and casts serious doubt and cynicism to the accuracy of the historical drama based on his own interactions with the main character and other characters in the film.

Book synopsis: “The Hoffa Wars is the story of Jimmy Hoffa and his domination of the Teamsters Union, the nation’s largest and most important labor union. It is a history of power and the wars fought among the Teamster leadership, and how these wars led to the murder of Hoffa, the corrupt, charismatic union boss.” Google Books

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Meridian Extravaganza!

November 18, 2019

“The many years spent in our Foreign Service followed by 17 years as President of Meridian International Center, confirmed to us then and now more than ever, the importance of Meridian’s mandate: to promote global understanding and engagement,” Ambassador Walter Cutler told Hollywood on the Potomac at the 51st Meridian Ball. “This entailed working closely with Washington’s large diplomatic community and both the public and private sectors. Didi and I could not have had more meaningful years as we galvanized our efforts into carrying out this mission. Attending our 51st Annual Ball this month confirmed that Meridian continues to thrive with our successors, Stuart and Gwen Holliday, at the helm.”

The Meridian Ball is one of the most prestigious annual events in Washington, DC. Now in its 51st year, this event brings together members of the public and private sector to celebrate Meridian’s ongoing efforts to prepare leaders for a complex global future. The Ball is well-attended by public officials including Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, prominent media figures, foreign ambassadors, and representatives from the international business and cultural communities. Guests have the option of choosing between an intimate Ambassador-hosted Dinner or the White-Meyer Dinner on Meridian’s campus. Following the dinners, guests from both the Ambassador-hosted Dinners and White-Meyer Dinner gather for dancing, dessert, and conversation at Meridian House.

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