Hollywood on the Potomac

'Believer'

February 16, 2020

“Everybody here has probably heard of Beatlemania, but I think tonight we started a little bit of Danmania,” said MPA CEO Ambassador Charles Rivkin prior to Dan Reynolds being introduced at a special screening of Believer (HBO) at The Motion Picture Association in downtown Washington, DC with co-hosts Universal Music Group in conjunction with The Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and the LoveLoud Foundation featuring a conversation with Dan Reynolds of Image Dragons.

Synopsis: Directed by Don Argott (DeLoreanBatman & BillThe Art of the Steal), Believer follows Mormon Dan Reynolds, frontman for the Grammy Award-winning band Imagine Dragons, as he takes on a new mission to explore how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members. With the rising suicide rate amongst teens in the state of Utah, his concern with the church’s policies sends him on an unexpected path of acceptance and change. The film documents a year of Reynolds’ life during the process of organizing the first-ever LoveLoud Festival concert in Orem, Utah to benefit such gay rights organizations as GLAAD and the Trevor Project, among others. While Believer takes a broader look at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ treatment of LGBTQ members, it also focuses on the suicide rate in the community, which has skyrocketed in the last decade. The film centers on Reynolds, Aja Volkman, his wife and fellow musician, and Tyler Glenn, frontman for Neon Trees, among others.


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Short Circuit

February 9, 2020

The long and the short of it: Short films are by far the most diverse films in The Academy, but they often get short changed (yes, pun intended). Until recently, shorts were often referred to as the black sheep of The Academy Awards ceremony — “a prestigious category, but one that barely anyone has seen.” The Motion Picture Association (MPA) & ShortsTV  hosted a private screening in Washington, DC in honor of this year’s nominations followed by a panel discussion with shorts filmmakers, moderated by Carter Pilcher.  The Academy announced shortlists in consideration for the 92nd Academy Awards in their top categories: Documentary.  Animation and Live Action. (see clip below)

A perhaps little known fact about Shorts:  Dear Basketball, a 2017 American animated short film written and narrated by the late Kobe Bryant and directed and animated by Glen Keane, with music by John Williams won an Oscar in 2017. The film is based on a letter Kobe Bryant wrote to The Players’ Tribune on November 29, 2015 announcing his retirement from basketball.


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'Parasite'

February 6, 2020

"In my present position at The Motion Picture Association as well as in my former capactiyy as Assistant Secretary of State, I had the pleasure of visiting Korea many, many times and I saw that powerful creativity at work. You feel the energy everywhere and is something that literally binds our two nations together,” said CEO Ambassador Charles Rivkin at a private screening of Parasite in downtown Washington, DC. 

“So Parasite is not only an amazing movie, but it’s a great example of what creativity can do when it’s allowed to thrive in a supportive ecosystem.  I have the pleasure as the head of The Motion Picture Association to be a member of the Motion Picture Academy. I can’t tell you which film I voted for on Sunday, but I will say that for me the best picture is the movie that stays with you. It’s really something you think about for days after you’ve seen it. I’m certain you’re going to feel that way after you’ve seen tonight’s show.”


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