Posts Tagged ‘CNN

18
Jul
14

Academy Award nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger brings notorious gangster story to the big screen

It has been one of the most talked about and intriguing criminal stories of all times.

Academy Award nominated director Joe Berlinger and wife Loren Eiferman exclusively pose for The Ravi Report

Academy Award nominated director Joe Berlinger and wife Loren Eiferman exclusively pose for The Ravi Report

Notorious Boston gangster and organized crime figure James Joseph “Whitey” Bulger Jr. for years got away with murders and other crimes and as some believed because he was an informant for the FBI, he was never caught.  It wasn’t until in 2013 that Bulger was finally found guilty on 31 counts, including 11 murders and is now serving two consecutive life terms plus five-year prison sentence for  his crimes. He is 84.

Like most of America, I was  fascinated by the story and all the countless films and books that have been written about the famous Boston gangster. The New York Times article  in 2013 “Whitey Bulger: The Capture of a Legend” outlining the famous mobster’s life, manhunt and downfall peaked my interest even more in the dramatic life and times of Bulger.

Whitey film director Joe Berlinger along with Bulger defense attorney Hank Brennan at the NY premiere

Director Joe Berlinger along with Bulger defense attorney Hank Brennan at the NY premiere

And the fascination with Bulger is still going strong today. Hollywood actor Johnny Depp is currently filming in Boston portraying the role of Bulger in the movie Black Mass being directed by Scott Cooper and scheduled to be released sometime in 2015.  And of course who can forget the 2006 film,  The Departed  with Matt Damon. An amazing film inspired by Bulger’s notorious life in South Boston.

But the  new gripping documentary directed by the acclaimed and Academy Award nominated director Joe Berlinger that everyone is  talking about is based on the trial and conviction of Bulger and is called Whitey: United States of America vs. James J. Bulger.  Berlinger has been a strong leading voice in nonfiction films for over two decades. The documentary is produced by CNN Films and Radical Media. You are not going to want to miss this films folks! Trust me.

The film focuses on the trial and outcome of Whitey Bulger and the hidden corruption of the law enforcement in Boston. Mr. Berlinger  interviews people from both legal teams and Berlinger scores a major coup when Bulger  calls into his lawyer’s office on speaker phone for the viewers to hear his side of the story.

Berlinger discusses the film with music icon Clive Davis

Berlinger discusses the film with music icon Clive Davis

Berlinger’s other highly acclaimed films Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills and Metallica: Some kind of Monster were simply fantastic. His film CRUDE about oil pollution, won over 22 human rights, environmental and film festival awards. I became a huge fan of the acclaimed director after I saw Paradise Lost: Purgatory for which Berlinger received an Oscar nomination.

Whitey: United States of America vs. James J. Bulger  recently opened in LA and is available on In Demand. The  film premiered at Sundance this year to an exclusive sold out audience and has since grabbed the attention of everyone and anyone who has been following this incredible dramatic true-to-life story.

The Ravi Report recently caught up with the famous documentarian at the NY  premiere where Berlinger celebrated the release of his film with friends and family.

Candice Bergen smiles for the cameras at the premiere

Candice Bergen smiles for the cameras at the premiere

RR: It’s a pleasure to finally meet you Joe. You really did an excellent job with the film. If I may ask, what did you find the most interesting or surprising about Bulger’s dramatic life while making the film?

JB: The degree to which the conventional wisdom of the story might or might not be true. It’s taken as gospel  that Whitey Bulger was or was not an informant for the FBI and a lot of the bad behavior that went wrong is solely the fault of John Connolly (convicted former FBI agent)  who is currently in prison. My investigation demonstrated lots of holes in the conventional wisdom. The fact that Bulger was sentenced to two life sentences at the age of 83 after benefiting from a life of crime and that life of crime was abetted by the FBI and the Dept. of Justice, led to a lot of unanswered questions for me and that was the biggest surprise.

NY Police commissioner William Bratton and his beautiful wife Rikki Kleinman smile for The Ravi Report at the movie premiere

NY Police commissioner William Bratton and his beautiful wife Rikki Kleinman smile for The Ravi Report at the movie premiere

RR: So much already has been written about Bulger in books and his life has even inspired a few Hollywood films. But your film has been getting such strong attention and praise from people and critics all over the world despite so much out there already on the famous gangster’s life.  Your thoughts?

JB: I am proud of the film. There was a desire to exhibit this film at Sundance this year  because that is the premiere place to debut a film.  I’ve had 5 other films premiere at Sundance already so this was my 6th. I started shooting the film last June (2013)and finished it up this January(2014) in time for the festival.I am proud of the film and you can never look back…what’s done is done.

RR: Thank you Joe. It’s been a privilege indeed.

JB: Thank you

Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger  is available on In Demand and is currently screening in major cities across the United States.

The journey continues and for the Academy nominated Berlinger, it’s been an interesting ride so far.

Ravi

23
Oct
12

2012 NY EMMY AWARDS BRING OUT ELECTION CONCERN

Influential & high profiled media guests mingled with their colleagues at the NY Emmy Awards

New York– The 33rd News and Documentary Emmy Awards recently held at the prestigious Frederick P. Rose Hall home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in NY, has always been one of the most anticipated and well-respected media events of the year.  Over 900 guests including high profiled media executives, famous news anchors, beautiful and sexy reporters, producers and writers from all the major networks came to support their co-workers vying for the most prestigious accolade in television- The Emmy.

Presented by the National  Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the awards are more than just about winning or recognizing top talent in television. They are also about bringing awareness to social and international issues that are reported in the news daily. PBS led all networks (Romney, are you listening?) with nine awards and ABC and CBS News tied for seven awards each. The  NBC News team took home three Emmys while CNN and CNN/I, Discovery Channel and HBO each took home two. The National Geographic Channel, Science Channel, Showtime and The New York Times all took home one Emmy.
The one story that was the topic of conversation at the event that almost everyone spoke about is… you guessed it – the presidential election.
From the star-studded cocktail party to the exclusive press room, President Obama and Governor Romney were mentioned in conversation after conversation.

Ravi Yande with Univision Emmy Award recipient Maria Elena Salinas

“The Latino vote is crucial in this presidential election,” stated the beautiful and very intelligent Maria Elena Salinas,  news anchor for Univision who along with her co-anchor, the debonair and talented Jorge Ramos were presented with the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Emmy by the stunning ABC news anchor  Diane Sawyer for their contribution to the world of news reporting.  Salinas spoke exclusively to The Ravi Report about her win and the upcoming election.
RR: It is so nice to see you Maria. Congrats to you and Jorge for the Emmy honor. It is so well deserved. With the election fast upon us, how important is the Latino vote in this presidential election?
SALINAS: Oh boy, so important!  Do you think a presidential candidate would sit down in a forum for a Spanish interview with an audience having the world watching knowing that they are going to be issues that are going to be very delicate to the Latino community, if they didn’t really want the Latino vote?  Every serious candidate knows how important the Latino vote is and they cannot win without it and they know it!”

Univision’s Maria Elena Salinas and Jorge Ramos pose for The Ravi Report

RR: The Lifetime Achievement is indeed a top recognition for your decades of hard work and dedication. What does the honor mean to you personally?
Salinas: We are the first Hispanic team ever to receive this tremendous honor. News is news and journalism is journalism no matter what language you deliver it in and we are so honored about this recognition for our work and dedication to the Spanish-speaking communities.
RR: The women in the  Latino communities I spoke to said that you are a role model for them and their hope for the future. Your thoughts? 
 
SALINAS: That is so nice.. thank you so much. We have developed a close connection with our audiences over the years. We are like their link to their home country, language, people and friends and we talk to them about everything. We are for them.

The beautiful CBS reporter Lara Logan poses with Ravi Yande at the NY Emmys.

Award-winning journalist and top newsman Bob Costas needs no introduction. The youthful anchor knows his craft and has done amazing award-winning interviews for the past three decades. Costas won an Emmy for his compelling interview with Jerry Sandusky which aired on “Rock Center with Brian Williams”.

2012 Emmy winner Bob Costas poses for The Ravi Report

RR: It’s a pleasure to meet you Bob. Congrats on the Emmy. If I may ask, what went through your mind as a person and a father rather than a journalist when you were interviewing Sandusky for the first time?
COSTAS:I tried to concentrate almost entirely on the journalistic aspect. I did not betray any reaction of my own and
I thought the audience should be able to be presented with the facts which in this case were his answers
however one interpreted them to the questions and the audience could make their own judgments. So I thought it was my job to ask whatever were the pertinent questions at least as how they occurred to me and then let the chips fall where they may and let the audience draw their own conclusion not provide any commentary of my own.

Ravi Yande poses with Bob Costas

RR: Was it at all challenging for you when you were speaking to Sandusky knowing what he was accused of?

COSTAS: It was not difficult to be quite honest to put aside any personal reaction to what he had been accused of doing at that point and what is seemed likely what he had done and now he has been convicted of doing. You do your job as a professional and I was just trying to bear down on the facts of the matter and I was well prepared to do the interview. I was trying to listen as intently as I could to his responses so that I wouldn’t be simply following question 5 to  question 6.
RR: You are a staple in the world of sports reporting and have given the viewers some top rated interviews. You also do mainstream news stories. What are some significant changes you would like to see in sports news?
COSTAS: More and more there is an understanding that sports topics are news worthy and they can be covered journalistically and I don’t think that is happens enough. HBO & ESPN  do a lot of journalistic  stories and
they do a very good job of that and when the networks put their minds to it, they can cover sports the same way.
Brian Ross, the eminent and well-respected ABC  news anchor  and his  producing team won an Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a News Magazine ABC News 20/20 – Brian Ross Investigates: Peace Corps – A Trust Betrayed.

ABC News anchor Brian Ross with producer Anne Schecter posing for The Ravi Report

 RR: Brian, always a privilege to meet you and congrats on another great honor. Tell me a little bit about the emotional and compelling part of putting this award-winning story together.

ROSS: Thank you. It was extremely emotional(pauses). Sometimes I still think about the courage of the women
who came forward and described…even before they told anyone even their parents…how they had been raped and abused by Peace Corps volunteers. Then for the parents of the young girl who was killed in Africa…they felt something had gone wrong. It is  a great institution but they(Peace Corps) lost their way.
RR: What was the outcome of the story?
ROSS: It led to legislation which gave the Peace Corps volunteer rights which they did not have before to be respected as whistle blowers and names kept secrets…which didn’t happen before either.
RR: What message do you want the world to take away from this powerful story?
 
ROSS: The larger message for me always and for most of the stories I do is that people should  tell the truth even if it is against powerful people and speak out and speak up.
New York award-winning local news ABC local news reporter NJ Burkett has been one of the most well-respected and popular journalist at NY Eyewitness News for years. I’ve been watching Burkett a long time and his stories are compelling, thought-provoking and often bring awareness to social and national issues. Burkett was one of the distinguished presenters at the show.
RR: NJ, nice to see you tonight. You briefly mentioned in your speech the importance of local news and its connection to the national level. Can you elaborate a bit more on how you feel the two are connected?
 
BURKETT: The national networks do such a great job of getting those very important stories on the air for the national audiences. But it is easy to lose the sight of the fact that many of these stories began at the local level. Many of these stories are researched and broken by local reporters at local TV stations and newspapers. The networks have luxury of time and  big budgets and local reporters don’t have those luxuries. They often have to work on very short deadlines and tight budgets with very little help.
RR: It sounds like local news reporting has become sort of one man operation!

WPIX anchor/host Marvin Scott with NJ Burkett pose exclusively for The Ravi Report

BURKETT: You are so right. That’s why I made my point about local news on stage. Sometimes reporters use their own money to get the story. It is  extremely kind that the National Academy make these sorts of stories known to the rest of the industry and sometimes I even think the industry forgets where a lot of these stories come from.

RR: Viewers have a strong and inner connection with their local news as you know very well with your excellent reporting over the years. As a seasoned journalist, do you see it changing with all the new accessible technology? Is that strong  sense of local connection diminishing or getting stronger?
BURKETT: If anything I see we now have a greater connection with the local audience through social media in particular. I have a twitter and Facebook account and people are using those kinds of connections in ways to get to us now more so then before. I love the feedback I get from viewers. We air a story and get comments right away.
RR: What are your thoughts about the importance of New Yorkers voting in the upcoming Presidential elections?
BURKETT: I think both political campaigns have written off NY. Because it’s a “blue state” and you are not seeing to many political ads like you are in  Ohio and Florida. I think people are not getting a sense of their message. NY and NJ folks are very news savvy and they are watching the coverage very carefully on their local news stations. 60 percent of registered voters get their news from local news  and  I am so glad to be part of it for so many years.
For a complete listing of 2012 Emmy winners, please log onto www.emmyonline.com.
The journey continues….and congrats to all the 2012 News & Doc Emmy winners!
Ravi
06
Dec
11

Larry King Receives Lifetime Emmy, Wants to be Frozen & Loves The LA Dodgers!

Emmy Award-winning Larry King poses exclusively for The Ravi Report

Larry King  wants to be frozen and is considering being a part owner of  the LA Dodgers- yeah, the iconic broadcaster has been busy lately folks!

But let’s first let’s talk about one of the best listeners and observers in television and radio receiving his  Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award.   The world-famous broadcaster with the gift to get people to open up about their lives, was recently honored by  the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences  with a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award for his  five decades of service in the broadcasting and radio industries. The gala took place at the famed Jazz at Lincoln Center venue in NYC. The award was presented to King by NBC highly popular newsman, Brian Williams.

CNN’s “Larry King Live” was the highest rated and most watched show on the network for over two decades bringing in world-wide famous celebrities, leaders and politicians,  many of whom were first time guests  on the Cable News Network.

Even after King retired in December 2010, the suspenders- wearing family man  is still in demand with celebrities, world leaders and politicians.  King’s  recent and exclusive interview with Johnny Depp for CNN  is a prime example of the kind of special appeal that King has with celebrities.

Ravi Yande poses with Larry King backstage at NY Emmy Awards

Friends who came to celebrate the honor  included world-famous CNN medical host Dr. Sanjay Gupta (Gupta was just as kind and humble in person as he appears on TV folks!) several CNN producers, past employers and many, many family and friends.

The broadcasting legend wears many hats- best-selling author, father, husband and friend who shows no signs of slowing down at 78.

King spent 25 years at  CNN where he  conducted over 50,000 interviews while boosting the network in ratings. In his spare time (does he even have any?) he oversees his Larry King Cardiac Foundation, an organization that helps fund people in need of heart surgery. King suffered a major heart attack in 1987 which required bypass surgery. His own father passed away at the age of 44 of a heart attack. For more information on the foundation, visit http://www.lkcf.org.

With thousands of interviews, countless stories and best-selling books ( his book Larry King, A Remarkable Journey is a must read folks!), King has for decades kept the world informed through his thought-provoking, laconic and  non-confrontational ways of interviewing everyone from world leaders to ordinary citizens which grace, style and sophistication.

Larry King speaking to Ravi Yande about his Emmy win (photo courtesy of The Creative Brainstorm)

I have been a long time admirer and have so enjoyed watching  the legend get the  most reserved, shy and reclusive  individuals to open up to him about their lives, personal issues and struggles. King’s  intelligent  interviewing style has appealed to millions of viewers across the world and to his  guests that often want to come back again and again knowing they will be treated fairly.

Larry King spoke exclusively to The Ravi Report about his win and a bit about his personal life as well.

RR: Mr. King, it is indeed an honor and a privilege to meet you. Congratulations on the Emmy. It is so well deserved. Please tell me what your secret to such a prodigious  career has been?
LK: Thank you. Well, I think Bill Clinton said it best in the program tonight…The New Yorker did a story on me and they called it “Street Questions”…I was always every man… I didn’t go to college…I was just a guy asking the questions…I think people associate with me...I think the guy on the street would have said ” I would have asked that”…I don’t think I was ever above anyone.

Larry King and wife Shawn Southwick-King smile for The Ravi Report

RR: A demanding and ambitious career often comes with both successes and sacrifices. Looking back now, is there something that you felt you  sacrificed for the sake of your rewarding career? 

LK: Well, for a long time and for those that know me…honestly, I was not a good father. I put too much emphasis on work and I learned a lesson for it. Now, I have two little children that I spend more time with. Nothing is more important than family.
RR: It sounds like family time  is very imperative to you.
LK: Everything else is secondary-children and your wife are first. You love your children no matter what they do or no matter what happens to them. Your child becomes President of the United States or ends up in prison, if you are the father of either one, you love them both the same.

The ravishing  Shawn Southwick-King was by her husband’s side during the honor  and summed up her own personal thoughts about King  in one sentence.

The Kings pose backstage for the excited paparazzi

SSL– We are each others strength and that is so important to me.

Interesting facts about Larry King:

1. Born November 19, 1933 in Brooklyn NY.

2. When King was 9 years old, his father Edward Zeigler died  of heart disease. The family had to struggle financially and the death effected King emotionally.

2. Changed birth name Lawrence Harvey Zeiger to Larry King during his first radio show in Miami in 1957.

3.King married 8 times, twice to the same lady.  Current wife is the beautiful Shawn Southwick-King mother of their two children Chance 12, and Cannon age 11.

4. “Larry King Live ” on CNN  became the first international TV call-in show and the highest rated talk show on the air for years.

King has won to many awards to list but here are just a few  noteworthy ones that have been mentioned quite often in the media:

Guests& celebrities mingled while enjoying the Central Park view at the Jazz at Lincoln Center

1. The Peabody Award  for Excellence in broadcasting for both his radio (1982) and television (1992) shows.

2. King won  ten CableAce Awards for Best Interviewer and for Best Talk Show Series.

3. In 1989, King was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame and  in 1996 into the Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame.

4. In June 1998, King received an Honorary Degree from Brooklyn College, City University of New York for his life achievements.

Ok, now for the frozen part. King is still very active with CNN and is doing celebrity specials among other projects for the network. In his first show entitled “Dinner With The Kings” that aired on Dec. 4,  the legend sat down with wife Shawn and celebrities Conan O’Brien, Tyra Banks, Shaquille O’Neal, Seth MacFarlane, Jack Dorsey, Quincy Jones and Russell Brand to discuss everything from insecurities, friendships to well…being frozen.

“I want to be frozen on the hope that they’ll find whatever I died of and bring me back,” Larry King tells his  guests  at his swanky Beverly Hills home.

Regarding the L.A.  Dodgers and ownership, the life long fan and season ticket holder has offered a bid as part of an investor group to possibly own the franchise.  It would be King’s first ownership of a professional sports team.

The journey continues and for one energetic Larry King- it gets even better!

Ravi

25
Oct
10

SPECIAL EVENT COVERAGE: NEWS & DOCUMENTARY EMMY AWARDS

Guests enjoying the cocktail party prior to the main event.

 To be in the same room among the most distinquished television news legends and award-winning network  anchors and documentarians was indeed an honor.

The Ravi Report recently attended the 31st Annual  News & Documentary Emmy Awards held at the swanky  Time Warner Center in Manhattan, NY. The annual function dedicated to honoring those in the world of news and documentaries included over 900 beautiful guests  from  television news, documentary filmmaking and entertainment news. It was one of the most talked about parties so far this year folks!

This year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award went to the acclaimed Frederick Wiseman, one of the most prolific, distinguished and accomplished documentarians of all times. Some of Weisman’s memorable films include “Boxing Gym” (2010), “La Danse” (2009) and “The Garden” 2005).  The man is a genius. 

Ravi Yande posing with Emmy winning team Andrew Glazer and Dan Rather.

Iconic & accomplished broadcast news legend Dan Rather  anchor & host of “Dan Rather Reports”  for HDNet   won an Emmy for his story entitled “Iran’s Manhattan Project”, an in dept look into the laundering of Iranian money through NY banks.   He spoke exclusively to The Ravi Report about his win.

RR: Mr. Rather, it is indeed an honor to be here with you  and congratulations.  Please share if you will some of your thoughts about your win.

Rather: Thank you so much. I feel humbled  and honored to be able  to do this kind of work at my age and stage is pretty amazing. To be able to work with people like Andrew Glazer is pretty amazing.

Rather went on to say said that the most surprising fact about the story was that  he never knew that huge sums of Iranian money was  illegally being  laundered through London banks so Iranians can get NY dollars to buy supplies for their nuclear weapons and missiles programs.

Legendary news anchor Dan Rather poses for The Ravi Report

With the explosion of social media and with bloggers ( yours truly) becoming a resource for news, I asked the award-winning & renowned journalist  what his thoughts were on the explosion of the media trend.

RR: Mr. Rather, you’ve seen the journalism industry transform into what it is today- a fast and social media friendly world. What are your thoughts on the whole concept of social media?

Rather: Social media plays a very big role now  and I think it’s destined to play even  a bigger role in the future. It compasses a lot more than journalism but journalism has become part of it. Anyone who is not thinking of social media today is to far behind the times.

 The ever so ravishing Paula Zahn,  the host of “On The Case With Paula Zahn” on the  Investigation Discovery Network was one of the presenters for the event and spoke about how social media has really become an intricate part of citizen journalism.
 
RR: Paula, you look simply amazing tonight.  With so many elements to social media today like blogging, twitter, etc, where do you see it playing a role in future journalism?
 
Zahn- Thanks so much. Honestly,  it’s completely changed in the way we do our business.  When I was at CNN, it was considered pretty revolutionary for people to send us in pictures  of what they saw.  I certainly do welcome the input of audience members and always have  but my biggest concern is the accuracy of it.

Top anchors Ali Velshi & Paula Zahn grace the red carpet at the Emmys.

The Ravi Report also caught up with CNN’s  financial guru & prevalent anchor Ali Velshi  who has been an intricate part of the cable network’s success.
RR: Ali, great to see you again.  Terrific  year for CNN! What’s the secret of their success?
 
Velshi- Thanks. This indeed has been an interesting news year so far. When we  are covering breaking news, when we are covering international events, disasters, etc,  it’s where the DNA comes out. It’s where we don’t have  to worry about the competition.
RR: What was the most thought-provoking story you have done so far in 2010?
 
Velshi: My story is the about the recession. It’s actually about the people whom  I met. The one thing I do is report about the people but I also go out on the CNN Express and talk to my viewers.
RR: Why that particular story?
 
Velshi:The difficulties for me as someone who understands the world of business is that I did not fully understand how we got to where we did in this recession. Many of my viewers  are out of work or losing their homes and THAT  ultimately is what hurts me the most. What I do with my coverage is to design  it around to show opportunities so they (viewers) can try to get back some of their wealth.
NBC award-winning anchor Brian Williams accepted the Emmy for his NBC broadcast news segment that won for coverage of “Miracle On The Hudson“, the incredible landing of US Airways flight 1549 on the NY Hudson River in the middle of the 2009 winter.  Pilot Chelsey B. Sullenger, fondly known as “Sully”, became a  national hero.

Ravi Yande backstage with Emmy winner Brian Williams

RR: Congrats Brian. It’s one of those stories that no one expected to have a miracle ending. What were your thoughts when you first heard about the incident?
 
Williams: Thank you. I was out in NJ listening to a fire scanner as I always have to see what was going in Manhattan.  When I heard about the plane, all I knew is that I needed to get to the studio. I didn’t know what we had there. Because whatever it was, a story about an aircraft in the Hudson could not  end well in all likelyhood..but it DID”.
RR: The story flooded the social media world for days.  Have you become part of it (social media) yet?
 
Williams: I have an account on Twitter and I think I have 4K followers and haven’t said a peep. I am waiting. It has to be thought out. I’ll get there. I am taking my time.
RR: With the explosion of social media, what direction do you think it’s going to take in future mainstream news?
 
Williams: It is media. Someday we will drop the mainstream part and we will drop the social part and it will all be known as media.
 

NBC news anchor Brian Williams poses exclusively for The Ravi Report

The Emmy for Best Documentary went to “War Dance”.  The story focuses  on three kids abducted by war rebels living in Northern Uganda who take part in a music competition.  The eminent director of the film, Sean Fine who lived in the war zone for three months (and caught malaria while filming) says that the film was extremely well received and  all the immense struggles were well worth it.

 
FINE: We were shocked and appalled to see over 60K  children being abducted by rebel forces,” stated the filmmaker to The Ravi Report. The Emmy winner  has also become the guardian of one of the children from the story.
“War Dance” has won numerous awards including being nominated for an Academy Award and for winning the Sundance Directing Award Documentary.  Fine is also planning on building a music and art center there for the kids. For more info on the film or how you can help the kids, check out www.wardancethemovie.com  and   www.thepatangofund.org. The film will be seen in November on the Documentary Channel (www.documentarychannel.com).
The event also included special guests and celebrated actors including “Lethal Weapon” star Danny Glover. The award-winning Hollywood actor is one of several celebrities currently lobbying to legalize cannabis in the state of California.
A special note of thanks goes to Daryl B. Cohen, Chairman of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and to Paul Pilliteri for doing a great job and for accommodating the media with interviews and access.For a complete list of winners, go to www.emmyonline.org.
The journey continues..
Ravi
14
Jan
10

HAITI NEEDS YOUR HELP!

Ok folks. No glamour here. No sexy starlets. No red carpet première  and  no A listers.

Just pure tragedy. Plain and simple.

 Haiti, the second largest Caribbean island has been hit with a terrible, horrific earthquake (7.0 magnitude) and the devastation has been displayed worldwide.  Thousands upon thousands of people have been killed(The Red Cross has reported an estimated figure of 50K so far)  displaced out of their homes, lost family members and are in much need of serious medical attention. Most of these people had very little to begin with now they have zero. Nada. Nothing.

Port-au-Prince, the capital city is basically gone. Destroyed. Scenes of buildings collapsed, homes destroyed and people running ,crying & screaming in the streets trying  to find their families and friends have been shown all over the world. A few television producer friends of mine were able to send some texts saying that they can’t stop crying as they are reporting on the horrific scene in the streets. The worst they say are the people trapped in the collapsed buildings, some as 9 storeys high that have no way of getting immediate help.  Thousands are severely injured and in immediate need for medical help but there are limited resources at this point so they have to wait. It maybe too late for some.

According to the Red Cross about  three million people were effected by the earthquake and the country is in immediate need of supplies, medical help and food.

Relief planes have been seen carrying supplies & aid into the devastation and many humanitarian groups & people are struggling to get the supplies like food and clothes to victims due to the obstruction of the main roads from the earthquake.

The Obama Administration urges all Americans who are trying to  find their family members  to call the State Department at 888-407-4747.

For the rest of you that want to help, here are some organizations that are in immediate need. The Ravi Report has been told that as of now, monetary funds are being requested more so than food or clothing.

How to help Haiti

1.  http://www.redcross.org – click the ” donate now” button at top and then International Response Fund or call 1-800-Red-Cross.

2.www. americares.org is a disaster relief organization delivers medicine, medical supplies and aid to people in crisis around the world. Call 1-800-486-HELP . All donations will be used for  medicine, medical supplies and for expenses for providing that medical aid.

3. www.doctorswithoutborders.org or call 1-888-392-0392.

4. www.imcworldwide.org contributions will go towards medical supplies, medicine and emergency kits and transporting the supplies. 1-800-481-4462.

5. www. opusa.org or call 1-800-678-7255, or mail a check to Operation USA, 3617 Hayden Ave., Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232.

6. www.yele.org founded by singer Wyclef Jean, the organization helps to improve the education, health and community development in Haiti. Text YELE to 501501 to donate.

7. http://www. Unicefusa.org or 1-800-4-UNICEF.

8. www.pih.org– Partners in Health for the past 25 years have given help in Haiti.  1-617-432-5256.

Also for daily updated information, contact the Embassy of Haiti in Washington D.C. at www.haiti.org.

Many NY fundraisers will be organized in the coming weeks so please stay in touch with The Ravi Report for updates/coverage.

The journey & prayers continue….

Ravi

16
Apr
09

SUSAN BOYLE SHOCKS SIMON COWELL AND THE WORLD AT THE SAME TIME.

I came home last night and in my inbox were a ton of emails from  friends asking me why I haven’t blogged yet about Susan Boyle.

Who? I innocently asked.

I read through their emails and soon realized why they had asked me that question.  Susan Boyle will shock you as she did me, the  judges on the hit show “Britain’s Got Talent”  and pretty much the world. Shock you. I mean really, honestly shock you. Completely from left field. Just shock you. Got it?

The 47 year old unemployed church volunteer recently got a chance to fulfill a life long dream of singing  on stage and got a chance to prove herself on the hit show in front of millions.  The single lady who lives with her cat Pebbles (aww) has been singing since the age of 12 and she said she always wanted to be a professional singer but family obligations and tending to her ailing mother prevented her from doing so.  Her mother recently passed away and Boyle thought about going on the show.  Little did she & the world know  that her destiny & life would change forever once she sang on the show.

When the simple looking Boyle came out on stage, well  you  can just  imagine what happened next but I’ll tell you anyway.

Mockery. Plain and simple. The singer was greeted with that universal look of  “Here comes another reality show star wannabe. ” Boy, did she prove them wrong!

In this present day and age where being beautiful and wrinkle free seems more important than breathing, where wearing expensive designer clothing and name brand cosmetics are more crucial than having a pulse, Susan Boyle was in fact being thrown to the tigers and famous  celebrity judge Simon Cowell was one of them waiting to bite.

Trademark skepticism from Cowell along with  jeers & laughter from the audience  members  came  when they saw the  “outside package” prompting them to make their own premature opinion in their own snarky way.

Despite  being  greeted with jeering from the audience,  rolled eyes and raised eyebrows from the judges, Susan Boyle stood her ground as she proceeded to tell millions around the world that she always wanted to be a professional singer similar to the caliber  of famed British theater legend  Elaine Paige.

Again scoffing from the audience.

Then it happened. The West Lothian Scotland native  began to sing “I Dream A Dream” from “Les Miserables”  and it was as  if some angel from heaven had come down to sing on stage. She was brilliant!!! I mean B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T!!!!!

Mindblowing incredible. Fantastic. Beyond what anyone could have imagined. The audience rose in seconds and stayed standing & cheering  until the very last note was sung. The other two judges Piers Morgan  and Amanda Holden were blown away in shock and completely taken by surprise by the magnitude of Boyle’s voice as  they gave her a standing ovation.

 Boyle obviously blew the judges away prompting them to give the cat loving singer top rank in the contest sending her home a winner.  Boyle’s performance was watched by over 13 million viewers on YouTube and she has become an overnight sensation on the Internet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

 

Check out Susan’s Boyle’s performance  and you too will be blown away and left speechless just like I and the rest of the world were.

The journey continues…

Ravi

www.raviyande.com




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