Monthly Archives:September 2019

From Sandra Bullock getting a male role rewritten for herself for Our Brand Is Crisis, director Denis Villeneuve fighting to cast a female (Emily Blunt) in the lead for Sicario, women taking charge has been a big theme at TIFF15.  Salma Hayek produced her new film, Septembers Of Shiraz, but she doesn’t think Hollywood is where it needs to be.

“We’re not getting there [yet], but we’re starting”, Salma told ET Canada on the red carpet.  The actress still things are moving “too slowly”.

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RELATED: 2015 TIFF Red Carpets

In Septembers Of Shiraz, an adaptation of the critically-acclaimed novel, Salma and Adrien Brody play a married Jewish couple, whose lives are torn apart when Brody’s character is accused of being a spy for Israel in the midst of the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

Salma’s co-star in the film, Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo, had high praise for the actress/producer. “She’s not only an amazing actress,” Shohreh explains. “She’s so generous”.

While he doesn’t appear in the film, Gerard Butler also served as a producer on the film.  The film’s director, Wayne Blair, says the 2 A-listers took their jobs as producers very seriously. “Gerard and Salma have been involved ever since I started 16 months ago to late last week,” Wayne says. “It was a dream project”.

RELATED: 2015 TIFF Red Carpets Part 2

You can see the interviews with Shohreh and Wayne below!

©2015Entertainment Tonight Canada

REGINA – Regina’s Darke Hall will not stand dark or empty this fall. Do It With Class Young People’s Theatre and the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra’s theatrical and musical seasons will be at the historic theatre.

There are a lot of benefits for these young singers to perform here.

“The one thing that they’ll be able to do here is learn to use a theatrical voice without the enhancement of amplification,” explained Rob Ursan, Do It With Class (DIWC) artistic director.

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This season, DIWC will be putting on four musicals, including Alice in Wonderland and The Threepenny Opera. Both will suit this historic setting.

“It is an incredible place. It is an incredible under-used place. It’s a place that I think should be used year round.”

“When you walk in here it looks like the 1920’s and 30’s – that kind of era. So it will be easier to get your mind in the time frame of the show,” said Charisma Taylor, 16 year-old DIWC senior performer.

Beyond that, performers like Taylor know they are helping to keep Darke Hall operating.

“Being young performers, when we get old, I’m sure many of us want to see young people have the same opportunities that we do. If we don’t have spaces like this than we can’t do that because they don’t have any places to perform,” Taylor said.

The University of Regina has begun its restoration of the College Avenue campus and Darke Hall, but there’s a way to go.

“We want to get feedback from potential future users, obviously they’re current users now too, but to ask the question: what does Darke Hall need?” said Brad Mahon, head of the University of Regina conservatory.

“Work needs to be done both on the stage with sight lines for the audience, a little better lighting, especially in the front here (and) a little better acoustics,” said Alan Denike, the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra music director.

Now that Do It With Class and the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra have made Darke Hall their permanent home, the hope is to also attract a bigger audience to this beloved space.

“It is an incredible place. It is an incredible under-used place. It’s a place that I think should be used year round,” said Ursan.

GAUTIER, Miss. — A university instructor told police he killed his girlfriend at a home they shared and investigators found a note there that said “I am so sorry I wish I could take it back” — but there was no hint he was headed a few hundred miles north to kill a colleague, police said Tuesday.

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Shannon Lamb called 911 on Monday, telling a dispatcher he had killed 41-year-old Amy Prentiss at the home they shared in Gautier along the Gulf coast. In the call, Lamb refuses to give his name but says that family contact information can be found on Prentiss’ phone. He says that their dog is still in the house, and “he’s a sweet dog and he’s not going to bother anybody but I’m sure he’s upset.”

When officers responded, the found the note written in all capital letters on a white, lined notepad, signed by Lamb: “I loved Amy and she is the only person who ever loved me.”

READ MORE: Suspect in Delta State University shooting dead from gunshot wound, say police

Police say Lamb attacked again about 45 minutes after that Monday morning 911 call, this time shooting Delta State University professor Ethan Schmidt, 39, inside his office.

Schmidt, a history professor, was shot three times in his neck, cheek and near the right eye in the doorway of his office with a book bag on his shoulder, an indication that he was either entering or leaving, Bolivar County Deputy Coroner Murray Roark said.

Lamb killed himself hours later as police closed in on him during a manhunt. At some point after shootings, he told family members he had no intention of going to jail. Relatives relayed that information to authorities.

Matt Hoggatt, a spokesman for Gautier police, said during a news conference Tuesday that Lamb had no criminal record, and there was no indication that he and Prentiss had a history of criminal domestic violence.

WATCH: Officials confirm Delta State University shooting suspect killed himself

Police have not released a motive for either shooting. University President William LaForge said he didn’t know of any conflict between Lamb and Schmidt but “obviously there was something in Mr. Lamb’s mind.”

A book published by Schmidt says in the acknowledgements that Schmidt considered himself “so lucky to have such wonderful people to share my academic life with,” including Lamb.

Lamb had earlier asked for a medical leave of absence, saying he had a health issue of some sort, but LaForge gave no further information about it.

This photo provided by Gautier, Miss., police at a news conference on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, shows a hand-written note investigators found at the house where Amy Prentiss’s body was found on Monday. 

(Gautier, Miss Police via AP)

The shooting led to an hours-long lockdown at the college during which frightened students and faculty hid in classrooms and closets as authorities scoured the campus looking for Lamb. The campus was eventually cleared by police and authorities later found Lamb when a license plate reader picked up his plate as he crossed a bridge over the Mississippi River from Arkansas back into Mississippi, Cleveland police Chief Charles “Buster” Bingham said.

Lamb killed himself with a single .380 pistol shot to the forehead in the backyard of a home south of his parents’ home on the outskirts of Greenville, Mississippi, said Washington County Coroner Methel Johnson. He left his car still running in the driveway. It was not immediately clear why Lamb went to that home, though Johnson said she believes he knew the people who lived there.

Lamb started working at the university, which has 3,500 students in a city of about 12,000, in 2009 and taught geography and education classes. He received a doctorate in education in the spring. He was teaching two online classes this semester, but an in-person class had been cancelled, LaForge said.

Lamb’s career prospects at Delta State may have taken a turn because of a policy change.

After LaForge became president, he hired a new provost, Charles McAdams, who ended a practice whereby an instructor who earned a doctorate could automatically join the tenure track and become an assistant professor. LaForge said that practice violated state policy which requires an open search for new professor positions.

Brandon Beavers, an education major, said he had a class with Lamb last year.

“It was like that class you look forward to,” Beavers said. “It was just cool.”

However, he said Lamb seemed agitated.

“He was really jittery, like there was something wrong with him,” Beavers said. “He was never in a bad mood, but he was real shaky.”

One of Lamb’s longtime friends described him Tuesday as smart, charismatic and funny. Carla Hairston said she and Lamb both grew up in Greenville, Mississippi.

Hairston said she was 15 and Lamb was 20 when they met through mutual friends. She and her friends were in high school, and he was the cool older guy who tried for several years to teach her to play guitar. He was a good teacher but she was an uncoordinated student, she said.

“He was quite the heartthrob back then. All the girls would melt when he was around,” said Hairston, now 40 and living in the Jackson suburb of Brandon.

“He had the Elvis effect,” Hairston said. “His voice was just like velvet, and people just loved to hear him talk.”

Hairston said even when she wanted to be a rebellious teen and stay out late, Lamb made sure she and her friends went home by curfew. She said he was whip smart and would often quote song lyrics in conversation.

“He made corny and dorky look good,” Hairston said.

Lamb and Prentiss had apparently been dating for some time. In the 911 call, Lamb said “I killed my wife,” but there was no record of them ever marrying.

Prentiss’ ex-husband said they divorced 15 years ago but remained friends and had a daughter who’s now 19.

“She was completely devastated,” he said of his daughter. “She and her mother were absolutely best friends.”

Schmidt, the slain professor, directed the first-year seminar program and specialized in Native American and colonial history, said Don Allan Mitchell, an English professor at the school. He was married and had three young children.

Karen Manners Smith, a history professor at Emporia State University in Kansas, where Schmidt studied, called him “a super competent human being.”

“He was president of his fraternity, in student government. He was an absolutely delightful student,” she said.

At the campus of 3,500 students, the police blockades had been taken down, people were out cutting the grass and traffic moved normally, although there was not a lot of pedestrian traffic. A vigil was planned for Tuesday night, and classes resume Wednesday.

“We’re trying to get our students to come back,” LaForge said. “The crisis is over. This is a day of healing.”

Sophomore Robert Holcomb attended a counseling session with dozens of other students and faculty. He was worried some students wouldn’t return after the campus slaying.

“It was a chance to talk and share experiences,” said Holcomb, a 32-year-old international business major from Seattle. “Some people having a harder time than others.”


TORONTO — Kiru Kulendiren feels her constitutional right has been violated by vandals after a candidate’s sign she has on her property was damaged.

“Broad daylight, people are willing to commit a criminal offence — that is not right,” said Kulendiren, whose home security cameras caught the culprits in the act.

“This is not my Canada, destroying that sign is not my Canada.”

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The video show a blue car packed with what looks like young men, when one gets out and slowly walks up Kulendiren’s driveway in the Ninth Line and Derry Road Area in Mississauga.

The man then runs and dives head-first into the sign, knocking it down. He then does the same thing to the neighbours’ sign across the street.

“It’s a travesty of democracy, a travesty of civic engagement and it’s not a laughing matter,” said Kulendiren.

“For many people looking at the video it looks funny because it’s this rhinoceros move … but I could not laugh along because it’s a sad testament to the lack of seriousness around elections.”

There are some strict laws governing when and where homeowners can place election signs.

“They’re allowed to start displaying once the writ has been issued since August 4th,” says Mark Sraga, Director, Investigation Service at Toronto’s Municipal Licensing and Standards.

“And since that date, we’ve only had 158 complaints.”

The city of Mississauga has not received any formal complaints about damaged signs so far. Kulendiren says other homeowners may not take this as seriously as she is, but she feels the sign on her lawn is a her property.

“Obviously I can’t put up a huge billboard with a cut-out of Brad Pitt, that’s not going to happen, but this is civic engagement, it’s protected under Elections Canada and elections law.”

Under the Canada Elections Act, it’s an offence to remove, alter, cover up or deface a candidate’s sign. If caught and convicted, the vandal could face a fine of up to $5,000 and or six months in jail.

Kulendiren says putting up the sign was not a decision her family made lightly. She wants the vandals caught and has filed a report with police.

“If this is ok for society, then is it ok for someone to do a running jump [at] your windows or your shed or your house?” she said. “When is it not ok?”


WATCH ABOVE: All the billionaires are doing it and now Amazon found Jeff Bezos want to join fellow entrepreneurs getting into the space travel race. Bezo’s company, Blue Origin, will compete with other space start-ups backed by billionaires like Elon Musk and Richard Branson. Aarti Pole explains.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is shipping his space business to Florida.

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At a news conference Tuesday, Bezos announced that his Blue Origin space company will build rockets and launch them into orbit from Cape Canaveral.

He plans to send up satellites first, then people – including space tourists and even himself. He predicts the first launch will occur by the end of the decade; he declined to be more specific, saying more details would be forthcoming next year.

The as-yet-named rocket will launch and land vertically, the same method the company is testing for suborbital flights from remote West Texas. The first-stage boosters will be reusable to save money. The crew capsules will fly themselves and not require pilots.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 36 will serve as home base for Blue Origin’s orbital program. It’s been idle for the past decade following a rich history of interplanetary flights for NASA.

READ MORE: Liberals and NDP promise long-term space plan if elected

The Washington state-based company – extremely hush-hush regarding most of its work – is the latest to set up shop at America’s rocket-launching hub. Just 1 1/2 weeks ago, Boeing unveiled its new hub for the future Starliner fleet that is intended to transport astronauts to the space station for NASA beginning in 2017.

On a makeshift stage under a huge tent, Bezos told the VIP crowd of more than 100 that they were seated at the future site of the Blue Origin rocket processing facility. He pointed to where an engine test-firing stand will be located 4,000 feet away and, 2,000 feet in another direction, the new launch pad. The actual rockets will be built at a nearby location just outside the gates of Kennedy Space Center.

“What is going to lift off from Launch Pad 36? Well, I want to give you a little sneak peek. Here it is: the new orbital vehicle,” he said, pulling a black cloth off a tall drawing of Blue Origins’ future rocket.

“One day – I don’t know how long this will take – but one day I look forward to having a press conference with you guys in space,” Bezos said to applause.

READ MORE: NASA plans to cultivate plants on Mars

Blue Origin has conducted one test flight of its suborbital rocket, back in April. It reached 307,000 feet, just shy of space. Bezos anticipates another test this year. The system is named New Shepard, a nod to the first American in space, the late Alan Shepard.

For now, Blue Origin is calling its future orbital rocket “Very Big Brother.” The engine that will be used to power the company’s orbital rocket already has an outside buyer: United Launch Alliance, which currently relies on Russian-made engines and wants an American-made product for its future Vulcan line.

Blue Origin already is collecting emails from prospective customers for a suborbital ride on New Shepard. Bezos has yet to set a pricetag or a timeline.

His goal is to put millions of people into space, with ultimate destinations of Mars and elsewhere. He calls it “a worthy challenge” that won’t be easy or quick.

Indeed, California-based SpaceX – another private aerospace company founded by a billionaire – remains grounded following a launch explosion in June. NASA is its biggest customer, buying supply runs to the International Space Station and eventual taxi flights for astronauts.

READ MORE: What went wrong with SpaceX rocket? Here’s how engineers will figure it out

Tuesday’s announcement drew Florida Gov. Rick Scott and other dignitaries excited about the prospect of more launches and jobs coming to Cape Canaveral, still recovering from the end of NASA’s shuttle program in 2011. Florida beat out four other states for Blue Origin.

Bezos, who grew up in Miami, made his fortune from Amazon苏州纹眉, which he founded in 1994. Blue Origin was born six years later.

“I always tell people, if my only goal were to make money, I would just open a new kind of snack food company,” he told reporters.

That would be easier, “But I don’t want to do that,” he said.