Dhai Akhar ~ a Letter Writing Campaign for Indian Diaspora

Here's the information and terms/ conditions on  "Dhai Akhar”, a Letter Writing Campaign for Indian Diaspora on the topic “Letter to My Motherland ” inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s “Amar Desher Mati".  This competition is open for all age groups.

Dhai Akhar my motherland  2018   international.jpg


Details of Dhai Akhar Letter Writing Campaign to be organized at International Level are as under: -

I. Theme: The theme of the Dhai Akhar Letter Writing Campaign will be “

Letter to my motherland

/ मर दश क नाम खत” inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s “Amar Desher Mati”. The letter is to be written in English/Hindi or any of the official languages mentioned in 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India. The categories for International Level Dhai Akhar Letter Writing Campaign are as follows:

(i) Up to 18 years (ii) Above 18 years.

II. Proof of age: The participants have to give a certificate of their age on the letter such as “I certify that I am Below/above the age of 18 as on 01/01/2018” along with one copy of proof of date of birth so that the age of the writers of winning entries can be verified with proof of their date of birth.

III. The campaign will start from 01-07-2018 till 30-09-2018. The letter can be written on plain A-4 size paper with a word limit of not more than 1000 words and is to be sent to Assistant Director General (Philately), Department of Posts, Room No. 108, Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg, New Delhi - 110001. Only handwritten letters posted by 30-09-2018 will be accepted. A scanned copy of the letter can be submitted on the MyGov portal by 30-09- 2018 (23:59 IST); however, it is compulsory that a hard copy of the letter bearing dispatch postmark of not later than 30-09-2018 be sent by post. Letters uploaded on the MyGov portal on 30-09-2018 but bearing a postmark after 30-09-2018 will not be entertained.

IV. All Non-resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origin living outside India can participate in the International Level Dhai Akhar Letter Writing Campaign. The participants have to give a certificate on the letter saying “I certify that I am Non-resident Indian or Person of Indian Origin (as applicable) residing in ________ (country’s name)”.

V. Evaluation: All the letters received from the Indian diaspora residing in other countries

will be evaluated by constituting Committees at the Postal Directorate level.

VI. Prizes: The top three letters in each category will be awarded prizes in the following way:

Prize to be given to top three Letters in each category at International Level:

Prize Category Prize Amount First Prize in each Category Rs. 50,000/- (Rs. Fifty thousand only) Second Prize in each Category Rs. 25,000/- (Rs. Twenty five thousand only) Third Prize in each Category Rs. 10,000/- (Rs. Ten thousand only)

6 Gift Ideas for Father's Day


Father's Day is right around the corner, on June 17th, and you most probably are looking for a gift. Either you are a father, or you're looking for a gift for your father, it's never easy to find the right thing. Here are a few interesting suggestions:

  • Custom tailored suit from Mohan's Custom Tailors: A suit can completely change how a man looks, in a good way. And a custom tailored, perfect fitting suit, is what can take it to the next level. Designer suits are not just luxury of the rich elites. At Mohan's custom suits, starting at just $699, you can get an amazing custom tailored suit, designed and made just for you, with a monogram and several amazing options. It's money well spent, for something very precious that will last for years.
  • Designer sunglasses from PRIVE REVAUX: If $699 seems too much, how about amazing designer sunglasses, backed by Jamie Foxx, for just $29.95. Yes, you can get high quality designer brand polarized sunglasses for under $30 from Prove Revaux. Checkout the collection and you can pick one for the dad and one (or more) for the son/daughter too.
  • TIMEX watch: How about something classic? Like the new MK1 Stainless Steel Chronograph carries a tough look and feel. The MK1 Steel Chronograph delivers a strong profile to attain distinction and quality, with an acrylic domed crystal it is complimented by a premium Italian oxford weave cotton strap and brushed steel finished eyelets to ensure a durable fit. Or the Timex SupernovaTM is a new way to experience our INDIGLO® Night – Light technology. A thin layer of metal is placed on top of the dial and using precision laser cutting techniques, the top layer is perforated to allow for the light to pass through, creating a new and unique way to illuminate the dial. Both priced at only $119, available at timex.com.
  • A Cosmetics gift-set from RITUALS: All men can use some shower gel, shampoo, soap, shaving cream etc. But why not get them something special, something cool. You cannot go wrong with for only RITUALS The Ritual of Samurai - Refreshing Ritual Gift Set $45, or RITUALS The Ritual of Dao - Calming Collection for only $65.
  • Perfume spray from CLEAN: Try something new and unique with CLEAN Reserve Sueded Oud. It is a fresh and creamy approach to a traditional oud fragrance. It is a discovery of natural textures and an exploration of the fluid movement between the brighter and darker facets of fragrance. Price & Availability: $95 at Sephora. Or CLEAN Reserve Acqua Neroli which combines the best of summer into one bottle, blending Acqua Musk with a sparkling freshness from bergamot, mandarin and orange Sicilian into a scent inspired by the Mediterranean sea. Price & Availability: $95, Sephora.com
  • A Broadway Show: TONYs just finished and if you are in New York City, there's noting better than checking out a TONY winner, TONY nominated or just any damn broadway show. From classics like LION KING, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, WICKED, to spectacular hits like HAMILTON, BOOK OF MORMON, ALADDIN to newcomers like HARRY POTTER, FROZEN and many many others. Check them out!


Samsung Unveils the Galaxy S9 and S9+

Today in Barcelona, Samsung announced the new Galaxy S9 and S9+at Unpacked. Designed for the ways we communicate and express ourselves with images, videos and emojis, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ feature Samsung’s most advanced camera ever. Redesigned with a new dual aperture lens that powers an innovative low light camera, Super Slow-mo video capabilities and personalized AR Emoji, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ ensure you never miss a moment and make your everyday epic.

Highlights include:

·         Samsung’s most advanced camera ever has a new Super Speed Dual Pixel sensor and dual aperture lens for even better low-light shots, Super Slow-mo video capabilities.

·         With AR Emoji users can create an emoji that looks, sounds and acts just like them for true personalization. AR Emoji uses a standard AGIF file format, so users can share their emojis across most third-party messaging platforms.

·         Bixby, Samsung’s intelligence platform, is integrated into the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ camera and uses augmented reality to provide helpful information. New Bixby features include Live Translation for real time foreign language translation, Food calorie counter and Makeup with Sephora and CoverGirl. New shopping partners, include Walmart and Sam’s Club.

·         Enhanced entertainment experience with powerful stereo speakers tuned by AKG and supported by Dolby Atmos and a refined edge-to-edge Infinity Display 

·         The new SmartThings app that brings together Samsung’s existing IoT services into one single smart experience

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ will be available in the U.S. starting March 16, 2018. Pre-orders begin March 2, 2018. Staring March 2, consumers who pre-order a Samsung Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ can save up to $350 with qualifying trade-in.

Available through Samsung.com and the Shop Samsung app, the Unlocked Galaxy S9 is $719.99 or $30/month for 24 months financing, and the larger Unlocked Galaxy S9+ is available for $839.99 or $35/month for 24 months financing.

Built for the Way We Communicate Today: Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ 

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ fuel new discoveries with Super Slow-mo video, best-in-class low light camera and AR Emoji for a more personalized way to express yourself

 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. introduces the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, the smartphones that reimagine the way we communicate, share and experience the world. Made for the ways we increasingly communicate and express ourselves with images, videos and emojis, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ drive innovation with Samsung’s most advanced camera ever. Redesigned with a new dual aperture lens that powers an innovative low light camera, Super Slow-mo video capabilities and personalized AR Emoji, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ ensure you never miss a moment and make your everyday epic.

The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ deliver an enhanced entertainment experience with powerful stereo speakers tuned by AKG, surround sound supported by Dolby Atmos and a refined edge-to-edge Infinity Display – a key staple in Samsung’s design heritage. In addition, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will come with the new SmartThings app, which unites Samsung’s existing IoT services into one single, smart experience.  

“The way we use our smartphones has changed as communication and self-expression has evolved,” said DJ Koh, president and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics. “With the Galaxy S9 and S9+, we have reimagined the smartphone camera. Not only does the Galaxy S9 and S9+ enable consumers to shoot the best photos and videos anywhere, it’s a smartphone that’s designed to help them connect to others and express themselves in a way that’s unique and personal to them.”

Camera Reimagined

Today’s cameras are for more than taking pictures – they’re for connecting and communicating. Consumers want a smartphone camera with state-of-the-art technology, so they can express themselves with high-quality images and tools to tell their own, unique story. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ cameras are built with these consumers in mind, with a Super Speed Dual Pixel sensor with dedicated processing power and memory that can combine up to 12 distinct images into one amazing, high quality photo. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ camera features include:

  • Super Slow-mo: Make every day moments epic with dynamic, slow-motion video that captures 960 frames per second. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ also offers automatic Motion Detection, an intelligent feature that detects movement in the frame and automatically begins to record – all users have to do is set up the shot. After capturing the Super Slow-mo video, users can select background music from 35 different options. 
  • Low Light Camera: Good lighting is the secret to any great photo. But often, photos are taken in less-than-ideal lighting conditions and most smartphone cameras have a fixed aperture that can’t adjust to low or bright lighting environments resulting in grainy or washed out pictures. Similar to the way the iris of a human eye expands and contracts, Samsung’s Dual Aperture[1] (F1.5 – F2.4) automatically lets in more light when it’s dark and less light when it’s too bright, taking photos that are crisp and clear anytime, anywhere. 
  • AR Emoji: Samsung lets users create an emoji that looks, sounds and acts just like them. AR Emoji uses a data-based machine learning algorithm, which analyzes a 2D image of the user and maps out more than 100 facial features to create a 3D model that reflects and imitates expressions, like winks and nods, for true personalization. AR Emoji uses a standard AGIF file format, so users can share their emojis across most third-party messaging platforms. 
  • Bixby: Samsung’s intelligence platform, integrated into the camera, uses augmented reality and deep learning technologies to provide helpful information about a user’s surroundings.[2] With real-time object detection and recognition, Bixby instantly generates information directly on top of the image that the camera is pointing at. Users can translate foreign languages and currency in real time with Live Translation, learn about their surroundings, purchase products seen in the real world from retailers such as Walmart and Sam’s Club, or track calories throughout the day.[3]

Entertainment Reimagined

Smartphones are often our go-to choice for entertainment, which is why Samsung created a device that offers premium sound experiences with stereo speakers tuned by AKG. Whether users are watching their favorite movie or streaming their favorite artist’s latest album, sounds are clear, crisp and rich in quality. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ also support Dolby Atmos enabled surround sound, giving the effect of 360-degree sound. 

The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ audio experience is complemented by Samsung’s revolutionary Infinity Display. First introduced on the Galaxy S8, the bold, bright Super AMOLED Infinity Display blends right into the phone with virtually no distracting bezels. With an adaptive contrast enhancement, users can use their device even in direct sunlight.

A Device that Fits with the Connected Lifestyle

As the first smartphone to support the new SmartThings app, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are the central hub to manage every facet of the connected lifestyle at home, at the office or on the go. The SmartThings App will be introduced with S9 and Galaxy S9+ and will connect to other Samsung and non-Samsung devices.

For those constantly on the move, the next-generation Samsung DeX empowers a mobile lifestyle by bringing a large, full-screen experience to the mobile handset. With DeX Pad, a new docking system, users can easily connect the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ to a larger monitor, keyboard and mouse to expand the mobile experience with enhanced document editing or even full-screen gaming. Users can transform the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ into a Touch Keyboard[4] and Touch Pad with the DeX Pad.[5] 

The Best Comes Standard with the Galaxy Foundation
Samsung sets the gold standard for smartphones including IP68 water and dust resistance, and fast wireless charging. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ go a step beyond. The devices now support expandable memory of up to 400GB and are equipped with the latest premium application processors offering powerful performance, fast network speeds and sophisticated image processing.

In addition, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ give users the peace of mind knowing that their phone is protected by Knox 3.1, Samsung’s latest defense-grade security platform. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ support three different biometric authentication options – iris, fingerprint, and facial recognition – so users can choose the best way to protect their device and applications. The devices support Intelligent Scan, a new verification mode that intelligently fuses the collective strength of iris scanning and facial recognition technology to quickly and conveniently unlock a user’s phone in any environment. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ introduce Dedicated Fingerprint, giving users the option to use a different fingerprint to access Secure Folder than the one used to unlock the phone.

Preorder and Availability

In the U.S., Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will be offered in Lilac Purple, Midnight Black and Coral Blue for carrier and Unlocked by Samsung versions. Preorders begin March 2, 2018. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon Wireless and Xfinity mobile will carry Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ in stores beginning March 16, 2018, as well as at Best Buy stores and BestBuy.com, Amazon, Costco, Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart. Cricket Wireless and MetroPCS will offer Galaxy S9 and S9+ in Midnight Black. Samsung Galaxy S9 Enterprise Edition will be available in Midnight Black. The new devices will be available beginning March 16, 2018.  

Available through Samsung.com and the Shop Samsung app, the Unlocked Galaxy S9 is $719.99 or $30/month for 24 months financing, and the larger Unlocked Galaxy S9+ is available for $839.99 or $35/month for 24 months financing[6].

Starting March 2, 2018, consumers who pre-order a Samsung Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ can save up to $350 with qualifying trade-in[7]. The promotion will last for a limited time and is available at Samsung.com, the Shop Samsung app and select retailers. Visit samsung.com/us/trade-in for more information. 

Samsung Premium Care

With Samsung Premium Care, you get more than just protection for your device, you get a team of Samsung pros ready to come to you. Just pick the time and place, and they’ll provide one-on-one technical support and assistance for everything from the setup of your device, to troubleshooting, to hand delivery of a replacement should anything happen to your phone. Premium Care is part of Samsung’s commitment to ensure that your location is our location, anywhere in the U.S. Enroll your new Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ and get one month of protection free. For more information, please visit:http://www.samsung.com/us/support/premium-care/.

 For more information about the Galaxy S9, visit http://www.samsungmobilepress.com/news.samsung.com/us/galaxy-s9/ or www.samsung.com/galaxy.

 About Samsung Electronics America, Inc.

Headquartered in Ridgefield Park, N.J., Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA) is a recognized innovative leader in consumer electronics, mobile devices and enterprise solutions. A wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., SEA is pushing beyond the limits of today’s technology and providing consumers and organizations with a portfolio of groundbreaking products in appliances, home entertainment, Internet of Things, mobile computing, smartphones, virtual reality, wireless infrastructure and wearables, in addition to offering leading content and services related to mobile payments, 360-degree VR video, customer support and more. Samsung is a pioneering leader in smartphones and HDTVs in the U.S. and one of America’s fastest growing home appliance brands. To discover more about Samsung, please visit www.samsung.com. For the latest Samsung news, please visit news.samsung.com/us and follow us @SamsungNewsUS.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI, foundry and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at http://news.samsung.com.

[1] The Dual Aperture supports F1.5 mode and F2.4 mode. Dual Aperture is installed on the rear camera (Galaxy S9) and rear wide-camera (Galaxy S9+)

[2] Bixby service ability may vary by country or carrier. Samsung Account log-in and data network (wifi or internet connection) required to fully operate Bixby features. Voice Command recognizes English (U.S.), Mandarin Chinese and Korean. Not all accents, dialects and expressions are recognized. Voice Command works with a select, growing list of Samsung and third-party apps. See “Apps with Voice” in Bixby for a list of compatible apps.

[3] Samsung Account log-in and data network (wifi or internet connection) required. Translation speed may vary depending on internet connection and word count. This function is limited to selected languages. For the full list of languages please visit www.samsung.com/galaxy

[4] Touch Keyboard function to be included in the upcoming software update.

[5] DeX Pad will come with HDMI cable, wall charger and data cable. Use of original HDMI cable and charger included with DeX Pad is recommended. Accessories including monitor sold separately. To utilize DeX (Galaxy Desktop), either DeX Station or DeX Pad is required. Both are sold separately. Certain apps may not run or may require license (for purchase) on Samsung DeX. DeX Pad supports Galaxy S9/S9+ only. (Galaxy S8/S8+ and Galaxy Note8 may be supported later with OS update.)

[6] Subject to credit approval from Samsung Financing Program Account issued by TD Bank, N.A.

[7] Terms and conditions apply and vary by retailer.

[8] Screen measured diagonally as a full rectangle without accounting for the rounded corners

[9] Default resolution is Full HD+ and can be changed to Quad HD+ (WQHD+) in Settings

[10] Carrying an IP68 dust and water resistance rating. Based on test conditions of submersion in up to 1.5 meters of fresh water for up to 30 minutes

[11] May differ by market and mobile operator

[12] User memory is less than the total memory due to storage of the operating system and software used to operate the device features. Actual user memory will vary depending on the operator and may change after software upgrades are performed.

[13] Galileo and BeiDou coverage may be limited

Jamie Foxx bringing “shade” in Manhattan, with Privé Revaux Eyewear

Jamie Foxx in Manhattan bringing “shade” by Lapacazo Sandoval—special to Amnews .jpeg

I was strolling in Manhattan and minding my own business, and I ran right into a sly Foxx!

Academy Award-winning and all over “good guy” Jamie Foxx stepped into the eyewear industry, teaming up with Privé Revaux Eyewear a company that’s describe as being “built on a shared passion for style and quality with the goal of making it accessible in ways never seen until now. “

Mr. Foxx, one of the company’s brand partners stopped by the mid-town Manhattan location, which has a subway car prop in the rear, and the party started.  He “literally” entered to the sounds of salsa music being played by a popular Bronx band. Sporting a Louis Vuitton backpack that just might be a custom design, the gifted funny, funny, funny Foxx flirted as he moved through the crowd.

Foxx was loaded with jokes but when it came to talking about the frames on his handsome face, he was all about the business.  

“Every one of the Privé Revaux sunglasses is just $29.95. That’s like nothing, you can lose...like three, and come back and buy three more,” Foxx joked. “Here’s the thing, I mean, you don’t have to spend a billion dollars to look great. Right?  I thought what if we do an affordable eyewear under $30? Even though it’s inexpensive, we’ll make sure we don’t spare any cost when it comes to making the product.”

He continued:  "Anything I wear and I post on Instagram, people automatically think it's high end.  That gave me an idea. I picked up the phone. I made 'that call' and bam affordable hotness."

The connection that Foxx was referring to was with “serial” entrepreneur David Schottenstein whose idea is to simply “disrupt” the eyewear market. To do that, and to ensure the brand’s success he turned to Foxx, as well as Hailee Steinfeld and Ashley Benson, who are all style ambassadors. 

There are over 100 handcrafted and polarized designer frames (each costing $29.95) and it’s about the Privé Revaux Eyewear quality.   Each of the 100+ Privé styles is named to evoke a persona, from The Artist and The Socialite to The Boss and The Godfather, all to show that everyone can be anyone when you reframe yourself with Privé Revaux.

“What I love, what I really love,” said Foxx as he danced through the crowd, “is giving people quality and style. Style and quality. Quality…and style…and at a price that won’t lean on their wallets and that’s Privé Revaux Eyewear."

Lunch Box Pioneers Prepd Launch Two New Colors

Prepd, pioneering makers of refined lunch boxes for adults, have launched two trendy new colors in celebration of the brand’s second birthday. Available 5 February 2018, the new sleek Peach and Mint color options are bright alternatives to Prepd Pack’s classic turquoise design, and promise to brighten up the saddest of desk lunches.

Designed with convenience and wellness in mind, a Prepd Pack ($69) encourages users to create vibrant, diverse and healthful meals with its unique modular design and complimentary Prepd App, which features over 85 easy-to-make recipes that include a comprehensive nutritional breakdown for each dish. Prepd recipes are meticulously tailored to fit Prepd Pack’s BPA free containers perfectly, allowing for easy upload of nutritional data to the iPhone health app.

“The average American dine-out lunch costs an eye-watering $11.14 and food waste is common due to oversized portions. The average Prepd lunch only costs $6.30 — an almost 200% saving, and smart meal planning can prevent quality ingredients from ending up in the trash. Our app provides meal inspiration and helps users track both calorie intake and daily nutrition at the touch of a button,” says Co-Founder Chris Place. “We couldn’t be happier about the positive impact that the Prepd Pack has had on so many. Not only is our growing community taking healthy lunches more regularly and saving money doing so, together we are also making a huge reduction in the amount of disposable packaging waste.” 

Having been featured on Oprah Winfrey’s coveted Oprah’s Favorite Things list 2017 and collaborating with home-cooking icon Blue Apron to help their users pack their meal kits for lunch, Prepd’s success is set to continue through 2018 with two new fun colors joining the family. Equipped with a full-set of containers and magnetic cutlery, all that is left to do is choose a recipe. Supplementary containers ($29) and cooling Cool Sticks, all of which slip seamlessly into the Prepd Pack, can be purchased for even greater flexibility, along with a premium neoprene Prepd Sleeve ($19) for added protection and wrist carrying.

Slimline, stylish and durable, each Prepd Pack is handcrafted from high-quality, natural bamboo. The case has a secure enclosure that keeps everything in place.

About Prepd

Say goodbye to the sad desk lunch! The Prepd Pack is equal parts stylish and functional.

Prepd is the creation of designers Chris Place and Will Matters. Formed in 2015 with a goal of making healthy living easier through good design, Prepd Pack is the brand’s first product.. 

Prepd's first Prepd Pack was originally brought to life through Kickstarter in January 2016 and raised just under $3M through crowdfunding. 2 years on the Prepd community has grown to over 50,000 users who take 529,000 meals to work in their Prepd Packs every month, potentially saving up to 6.35 million sets of single-use disposable packaging from take out restaurants each year.

Built to last, Slimline Prepd Packs are handcrafted from high-quality natural bamboo, and come with three premium leak-proof containers that can be arranged in multiple configurations to suit whatever is on the menu that day. An integrated placemat and a set of magnetic silverware means you can open up and enjoy your meal anywhere without rummaging around for utensils or worrying about making a mess. Lunch is served!

For an extra layer of protection, check out our Prepd Sleeve. Looking for more containers? Check out our extra Prepd Container Set. To keep your food extra cool and fresh for longer, try our Cool Sticks.

Key features of Prepd Pack include:

· Slim and durable Bamboo carry case.
· Food Safe, Leakproof Tritan containers.
· Stackable modular containers system.
· Ice packs that neatly fit into the side of the lunchbox

Free shipping world wide. 



Here are a few ideas to shake up the coming holiday season.

Stocking stuffers suggestions:  Just Zip It (www.just-zipit.com).  They have googly-eyes but these pouches from ZIPIT rock.  Made from 100% polyester, with large, “grip” teeth, the pouch can hold up to 30 pencils, collectibles, change and more. It’s machine-washable and comes in four different colors: black, blue, pink and purple.

Decal for the Day is new rub-on decals from OMY (omy-maison.com). There are different themes, like Paris, NYC, and even letters. Over 120 designs transfer easily. There’s no commitment because these decals wear away naturally and wash off clothes, too!

Finger Friends (landofnod.com) This cool fingernail kit comes with 25 animal stickers that are perfectly sized for little digits. Tigers, pandas, monkeys and more!

Made By us and For Us. Send the right message to the kids in your life. 

Kimberly Jesika’s network and doll empire must be seen to be believed. She’s the savvy CEO behind the KidPire TV NETWORK (English and Spanish). Her Kimy fashion dolls with their cool bun— signature hairdo are popular! Jesika also cartoons on the Kidpire TV network. and books available on Amazon. @kidpiretvnetwork @dollfaceanimatedfilms @kimyfashiondoll


The joy of reading can be achieved in this fast, mobile society.  

iTunes offers Donna Beasley’s KaZoom Kids Books.  Created and illustrated by creatives of color, the library of interactive, multicultural books are designed to inspire children ages 3-8 to love reading. These are fun stories, featuring diverse characters, beautifully illustrated and with read-along narration. Designed so kids can use independently. Get 2 books free, and then subscribe to access all titles. 


Coding is more than fun, it's essential education.  Kids with basic coding fundamentals give an edge to students.  Finding the right way to motivate your child can make all the difference, so here are selections are broken down by age group.

Ages 5 – 8:  Ozobot robot does not use a smartphone or remote control, children draw lines with different colored markers to ‘program’ Evo. It can also be controlled with a phone or tablet, and it supports a drag and drop programming language, but the tactile sensation of ‘coloring’ with markers is a fantastic way to relate logic problems to children.

Wonder Workshop’s Cue will get a lot more mileage out of Cue’s personalities than preteens and teens, but it’s still a premium quality robot toy for any age. Kids can learn programming skills and create routines for their robot complete with sounds and lights.

Ages 8 – 12: Kamigami: Insect-like robots that kids assemble by folding plastic together. These fully-functional robots teach kids several STEM skills – and if you get a couple of these robots together they interact. These are fine for smaller kids too.

Code: Board games from ThinkFun don’t require any apps or screens to play. They come in several options and are popular with educators who want to introduce the fundamentals of code to children. Hour of Code website lists hundreds of educational games and activities. 

Beauty Products make great gifts and Hollywood Pro Makeup Artist, Daurisa Tessier (daurisatessier.com) recommended these choices for the Holiday season.

Fenty Beauty by Rihana Gloss and the Kiawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo.  From MAC the paint pots eyeshadow primers and the Nude lipstick Razzledazzler. From Hourglass the Veil Mineral Primer,  Ambient® Lighting Palette and the Hourglass. Vanish™ Seamless Finish Foundation Stick. From Marc Jacob its the Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara and for full coverage you can’t get better than Marc Jacobs Re (Marc)able Foundations. 

5 Amazing Holiday gifts for 2017!

Holiday season is time for celebrations, joy, fun and gifts! Giving gifts to your family & friends, and sometimes just yourself is just essential. But picking a good gift can be challenging in the times like these. There's just too many options out there. So here are some unique and amazing holiday gift suggestions from us.

  • Do you love music? Do you like to hear every beat and sound crystal clear? Are you an audiophile? Then the usual earphones that your phone came with, or even the ones you buy online for $20-$30, is just not going to cut it. You know that. But if you are ready to spend just little more money, there are these amazing headphones from ECHOBOX. I tried both Finder and Traveller, and they are AMAZING. I'm nothing to give you a lot of technical jargon, you can go to their site and check the details. But I'll tell you that they sound amazing. And they DO NOT TANGLE. That's big for me. I have had $200 earphones, that tangled. These are just amazing. Sound is just superb. And right now, you can grab these on some amazing discount this holiday season. Checkout more on their site.
  • Candles have become the easiest and most common gift to give these days. But it's not really easy to find some exceptional candles. The market is filled with all sort of products, and finding something good can be very very hard. Hence we recommend candles from ToBeCalm Frangrences. There collection is amazing, and you'll definitely find something you love. Just give them a try. They even have holiday special candles! Checkout their fragrances, essential oils and other products as well.
  • It's getting cold outside, and your feet probably feel that cold. There's a beautiful and super comfortable way to keep your feet warm - TIME Slippers. I tried my first pair last year, and I have been a fan since. They make everything from slippers to boots, for both men and women. Available in several colors and designs, you will definitely find something that you and your feet would love. Get them for yourself, or the special one around you. Check them out now!
  • Either you wear them for sun, for vision or just for fun, glasses are always cool, all year round. My favorite place to get some amazing glasses happens to be CoastalDotCom. They have amazing selection, with some exclusive designs as well. The prices are great and so is the service. From prescription eyewear, to fashionable sunglasses, to a mix of both, this is s great place to get whatever eyewear you are looking for. With their holiday special, this would be a great time to collect some wonderful glasses for the entire year.
  • You like computers and coding? Or do you want to get into computers and coding? And amazing gift for any youngling or even adults KANO. What's KANO? Kano is a DIY "computer kit designed to help people of all ages assemble a computer from scratch, and learn basic coding skills". They have something for people of all ages, and once you get into building these computer kits, there's no way you won't fall in love. Make sure you get a your hands on one this holiday season.

So this is our list of some unique holiday gift/shopping ideas. I have personally tried each of these products, and I'll say I'm in love. All of these are on my gift list, one quantities of more than one. You may want the same. Go, get them now!

We will bring you another list of stocking stuffers as well. Enjoy the holidays and have a wonderful time. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Your Face Deserves High End this Holidays, TRY HourGlass!

Whatever you do, please don’t get turned off by the words “high end” — especially when it comes to your pretty face, ladies.


Something happened to me, recently inside a Sephora store. I met a woman with ebony-hued skin and a specular glow — so fantastic, that I thought, perhaps, she had stepped from the pages of a very modern fairytale.

The makeup on the woman’s face was HourGlass cosmetics, and she was a representative from the company.  After a few well placed phone calls to their public relations team, I received a gift package and began my journey to learn more about the products.  

To assist me in this task, I enlisted professional makeup career, Daurisa Tessier, a “sister” with over 10 years experience as a professional makeup artist. Her work is featured in many notable publications and global ad-campaigns, including Vogue, Berta Bridal, MAC, Chanel, Nars, Victoria Secret, and much more.

Here’s what make up artist Miss Daurisa Tessier had to share about using HourGlass.

MyNewYorkEye: How can a woman of color match her skin to get a natural look with HOURGLASS?

Daurisa Tessier : Hourglass foundation sticks are absolutely beautiful for women of color. With 26 beautiful shades, there is a color for every woman and ethnicity.  Not only is the Hourglass stick a foundation, but the coverage conceals under eyes and any imperfections of the skin, leaving you with a beautiful finish that feels like it was set with powder. When I tried the foundation for myself, I must say I was very impressed with the coverage and how long the makeup lasted throughout the day. The benefits are that it is something you can carry in your purse or travel with because it is only .25 OZ.  I used it with the Vanish seamless foundation brush, which made the foundation go on as if it was silk. I was never a fan of stick foundations but I must say I was impressed how the color I chose was perfect for my skin tone which was honey, and how effortlessly it was to put it on. Everyone wants skin that looks perfect, and Hourglass foundation sticks by far are the closest to getting a flawless application and beautiful skin.

MNYE: How important is a primer for women of color?

DT:  Primer for a woman of color is the canvas before the art. let me explain: Here are so many benefits to using a primer the first one is that is blurs out imperfections in the face and minimizes pores in the skin before putting on the foundation. The other amazing reason for using primer is it helps with oil and it makes your makeup stay fresh and last all day. I definitely recommend a primer to all women of color. We all know the saying “black don’t crack” but we all know it can get some creases (smiles). One of the primers I recommend is by Hourglass, and it is the Veil Primer. Some of the benefits are that it smooths out the skin, its oil-free, and it makes the makeup last all day long. It helps with making pores, wrinkles and lines in the face look very minimal, and it even has SPF 15 to protect from the sun and last but not least its vegan. So yes ladies, before we paint our face, lets prime it first.

MNYE: ourglass's Lip Color stays on long and keeps the lips moisturized. How does a woman add that extra sparkle for the holiday season?

DT:  Using Hourglass Femme rouge velvet creme lipstick is the way to go for the holidays. One of my favorite shades is Muse which is a beautiful coral color. The lipsticks are very creamy and are infused with vitamin E. To give it a more sparkly look for the holiday, I would add their Extreme Sheen High Shine lipgloss in the color reflect which will give the lips a nice glossy pout.

MNYE: How can you get a Sparkle Holiday look?

DT:  When I think of a Holiday look I think of highlighting and contouring the face and glitter. Combining all of these wonderful Hourglass products and adding a touch of glitter on the lips and eyes gives off a sparkle to the face that is absolutely beautiful.  Hourglass makes a beautiful highlighter and one of my favorites is the Ambience Strobe Lighting powder in Eurphoric. Brush this powder delicately on your forehead, down your nose, cheekbones, and browbone to give your skin a beautiful glow. A holiday looks also need lashes and of course a winged out eyeliner on the top lid in black.



Top Notch Cinema Triumphs Using Video Technology

Bonobos has been offered a lucrative $310,000,000 deal from Walmart.
Dollar Shave Club was acquired for $1,000,000,000by Unilever.
Albertsons purchased Plated for $200,000,000.

What one single similarity do all three corporations share? Each one had a branding video that was designed and distributed by a New York corporate video production company, Top Notch Cinema. A short time after these videos were publicly shown, these start up organizations received their profitable solicitations.

In an ever-changing environment saturated with an abundance of information, it is essential to stand out in the crowd. Video production and distribution creates a unique niche for brands looking to capture the attention of all audiences, both small and substantial in size. A quality promotional and/or event video creates necessary brand awareness. It also helps the consumer feel personally connected to the brand, which creates brand loyalty and increases referral rates.

A quick Google search reveals that the top video production firms focus mostly on news and entertainment. It is evident that virtually everyone ignores videos for business. According to the owners of Top Notch Cinema, James Orfanos and Greg Parker, videos allow a brand to “personally connect with their audience, leading to a higher level of lead generation and higher conversions rates”. By adopting this focus, Top Notch Cinema has been able to secure top clients, including the famed luxury stay brand The Four Seasons, the digital wallet Venmo, andonline news source Elite Daily, among others. The work of Top Notch Cinema essentially guarantees a significant return of investment, which their clients have confirmed.

Top Notch Cinema focuses on enhancing the essence of every brand by creating a series of short and succinct videos. The content is both comprehensive and compelling, designed to engage all ages. Once completed, a strategic and schematic distribution is done through particular platforms and creative channels. All done within one day.

Take a second to schedule an in-depth consultation with Top Notch Cinema. For further information, visit their website at www.topnotchcinema.com.

Celebrate Diwali with Indian food, dance & cultural program, Nov 4th in Stony Brook, NY!

Diwali – the festival of Lights is one of the most avidly celebrated religious events in the Indian sub-continent. Celebrated by many religions and cultures, this festival depicts the driving off of evil and ushering in the good times of peace, joy and happiness by lighting lamps, dressing in colorful clothes, meeting friends and feasting.

To commemorate this festival, Diwali Stony Brook Cultural Program will be organized on November 4th at JFK Middle School, Port Jefferson Station, NY. The cultural program was initiated in 2008 as a way to bring the local Indian community together to celebrate the festival of Diwali. What started as a small gathering several years ago became a highly anticipated event and is currently one of the largest Indian cultural shows in Suffolk County. This program is focused on the younger generation, giving them a venue where they can showcase their talent. Children dance in colorful traditional costumes, encompassing Bollywood, Classical Kathak and Bharatnatyam and popular and energetic Bhangra performances.

Over 450 people attended the cultural program last year, and 130 children served up a multitude of performances, culminating in a sumptuous feast. Children of ages from 5 to 18 will participate in the show and many have been performing at this show year after year.

“Bringing the community together to showcase the talent of the children is the main purpose of this event along with celebrating the festival. This program reveals the vibrant nature of the Indian community and also gives an opportunity to the children as well as adults to remember their roots and exhibit their culture” states the organizer, Mr. Harbinder Singh.

The 10th annual Diwali Stony Brook Cultural Program will be held at JFK Middle School, Port Jefferson on Nov. 4, 2017 from 2:30 pm to 8:00 pm. This year, the performances of children will be complimented by a photo booth, henna tattoo artists, a pre-event Indian snacks and a post-event sumptuous vegetarian Indian dinner adding further enjoyment to the festivities. Tickets are $24 for adults (14 and older) and $21 for children (ages 4 to 13). To purchase tickets, visit www.diwalistonybrook.com.

Date of Event: Saturday November 4, 2017
Location: JFK Middle School, 631-306-4291 200 Jayne Blvd, Pt Jefferson St, NY
Time: 2:30 PM

CONTACT: Harbinder Singh

Carline Smothers creates Zoe Beautee and the Little Reader’s Collection, Multicultural children’s book series introduces children to the richness of the Haitian Culture

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"Necessity is the mother of invention" is an old English- language proverb which means, roughly, that the primary driving force for the new invention is a need. That’s the energizing thought that drove Carline Smothers, the mother of three young Haitian American children ( a nine- year-old son and two daughters, ages seven and three) to create and self-publish her two books: “Fanmi Mwen (My Family)” written in Haitian Creole and English, and “Mmmmm! Soup Joumou,” a children’s book series that highlights their Haitian heritage.    

A businesswoman with a higher purpose, Carline stared Zoe Beauty in 2011, offering a line of t-shirts that sport the Creole phrase Bèl Fanm (Beautiful Woman) in order to celebrate the beauty of the Haitian language. “My goal is to help build confidence and self-love,” says Carline. All
products are available for purchase at www.zoebeautee.com

Here’s what Smothers, the children’s book author and owner of www.zoebeautee.com, had to share about the richness of her Haitian heritage and why she wrote “Fanmi Mwen (My Family)” (Haitian Creole and English) and “Mmmmm! Soup Joumou.” 

Q: What are African-Americans missing about the Haitian culture?  
Carline Smothers: There are so many negative stereotypes about Haitians. When I was younger, my family and I were constantly teased for being Haitian in school. As I would look at the American children who teased us, their skin, eyes, and hair looked like ours. I did not understand why we were treated so cruel. Some kids would even fight and throw things at the Haitian students. They told us we ate cats and dogs. That all Haitians are dark-black, ugly, and dirty.  I would get offended when I was told I did not look Haitian, which insinuated that Haitians are not beautiful people. Of course, everything stated above is completely false. We are beautiful people who come in all shades, as everyone else around the world. I had no idea where these kids
were getting their information from, or if that is what was being taught in their homes. 

My parents are immigrants from Haiti and instilled in my siblings and I values, empathy, respect, and compassion. They came to America to give us a better opportunity to grow and prosper. I do not see it being any different from others who move from state to state, for such growth. My
parents did not leave Haiti because they didn't like it there; in fact, they told us all the time how beautiful Haiti is, with amazing beaches and mountains. Haitian culture is reaching in food, language, music, art, and so much more. If we all took the time to learn about other cultures, this
world would be a better place! 

America recognizes May as Haitian Heritage Month. We are proud of who we are and our African roots. I have noticed others embracing Haitian culture through the language, food, and displaying the flag. For an example, the Haitian flag is seen waving in the opening of DJ Khaled and Rihanna’s  video. We have come a long way from how Haitians were viewed when I was growing up.

Why did you feel the need to start www.zoebeautee.com and self-publish two children books that focus on the Haitian culture?
I started my Zoe Beauty brand to celebrate the beauty of the Haitian culture and its people. By first creating Bèl Fanm (Beautiful Woman) Fashion Tees. I was inspired by my three young children to create the children's book series. My husband is African American and I did not want
them to lose the culture.  When we watch television shows, movies, and read books for children, we are open to learning other languages and cultures. However, I couldn't help but noticed the lack of Haitians and my children need to be able to relate to the characters. This is why I am passionate about what I have created. Every child deserves to be represented and see a reflection of themselves. I saw a need and have been working tirelessly to bring my vision to life. 

To learn more go to: "Expressing Beauty Through Language"

Founder and CEO Carline Smothers
Instagram zoe_beautee
Facebook Zoe Beautee
Twitter Zoe Beautee

Google's Made With Code program has joined with Snap Inc to host a contest for teens to code a geofilter Deadline is October 6


 Do you love the young people in your life?  If you do, would you make effort to share information that could positively impact their future?

Suspecting that the answers to both of the questions are a resounding—yes—then please make note that until October October 8, teens can go to MadewithCode.com to code a geofilter and submit a 100-word statement about the future they envision.

This is a contest. Do not panic.  They don’t need any prior coding experience to give it a try. What they do need is a sense of adventure and a thirst for knowledge. Google's Made With Code program has joined with Snap Inc to host a contest for teens to code a geofilter (ie, a creative overlay that shows where you and what you're doing) that will go live nationally in the Snapchat app.

The contest, called #MyFutureMe, launched yesterday and five finalists will be sent to the TEDWomen conference in New Orleans in November to work with Google and Snap engineers to create lenses for the Snapchat app. They’ll also receive a trip to Los Angeles, CA, for a private, VIP tour of the Snapchat and Google offices.

The great news is that for the five finalists they will receive mentoring sessions from Google engineers and work with Snap engineers to create a lens (for the non-teens: this is augmented reality technology that adds animations to your selfies, general photos, and the world around us).

This is a very big deal and the panel of amazing people who will judge the lenses from the five finalists includes Ruth Porat (SVP and CFO of Google and Alphabet), Evan Spiegel (CEO of Snap), Malala Yousafzai (student, activist and Malala Fund Co-Founder), Joanna Coles (Chief Content Officer at Hearst), Laurie Hernandez (Olympic gymnast), Victoria Justice (actress and singer), Lilly Singh (YouTube personality, entertainer, and founder of Girl Love) and Dr. Yvonne Cagle (NASA astronaut).

How we share the things we see around us is part of what motivated the creation of this contest.  With this contest, Made with Code and Snap will help teens nationwide see that the things they love, like Snapchat, are made with code. Teens are already Snapping. Let’s get them coding, too.
Read more here: https://www.blog.google/topics/education/oh-snap-teens-are-coding-future/

Ballet Hispánico Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month w/ Dance - September 15 to October 15, Free performances, a Block Party, and more!

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Ballet Hispánico will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, 2017 with free events, performances, exhibitions and dance lessons for children and adults. Events include a Salsa Extravaganza, an "A la Calle" Block Party, an Instituto Coreográfico dance showing and discussion, an intimate Tablao flamenco performance, and an exhibition of visual artwork at the Ballet Hispánico's headquarters, The Arnhold Center, at 167 W. 89thStreet.

"No other Latino organization can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month like Ballet Hispánico, because we will do it with dance!" said Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Hispánico. "We've been bringing individuals and communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures and the shared human experience through dance for more than 45 years. Our Hispanic Heritage Month events and activities will bring the celebration to the Upper West Side neighborhood, which has been our home from the very beginning of Ballet Hispánico."

  • The celebration begins on Friday, September 15, 2017* with the PBS broadcast of Lincoln Center at the Movies presents Ballet Hispánico at 9 pm. The program opens with CARMEN.maquia, a modern take on Bizet's passionate opera featuring physically charged and sensual choreography by Spaniard Gustavo Ramírez Sansano. The second part of the program, Club Havana, is a virtuosic reimagining of a sizzling nightclub by Cuban-born choreographer Pedro Ruiz. Originally filmed as part of the Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance series, the PBS broadcast will draw the largest national audience in Ballet Hispánico's history. (* check local listings) 
  • On Saturday, September 23 from 5:30-7:30pm, Ballet Hispánico will host a Salsa Extravaganza, giving New Yorkers the opportunity to revel in the music and dances of Latino cultures.This free, two-hour event will offer lessons for all ages in three dance genres: salsa, merengue and bachata, followed by a celebratory dance for all, with refreshments.  Both experienced dancers and first-timers are welcome to join in this joyous celebration. Refreshments will be provided by Calle Ocho/Bodega 88. https://fs18.formsite.com/BalletHispanico/HHMfree/index.html
  • "A la Calle" Block Party on Sunday, October 1 from 2-6 pm,  a four-hour celebration of Latino dance, music, art, food and community, will take place on West 89th Street (between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues),  Ballet Hispánico's home for more than 45 years. The event will include dance performances by our internationally renowned Company, School of Dance students, and BHdos as well as a musical performance by Los Hacheros, free half-hour dance classes for adults and children, and a variety of activities for children and families. A special free raffle will include items donated by 89th Street NY Kids Club and Preschool, Blu Dot, Book Culture, Children's Museum of Manhattan, Flywheel Sports, Macaron Parlour, Modell's Sporting Goods, Rachel Realty, SoulCycle, and The Vitamin Shoppe. https://fs18.formsite.com/BalletHispanico/HHMfree/index.html
  • This year's Instituto Coreográfico on October 5 at 7 pm will feature the work of acclaimed Spanish choreographer Carlos Pons Guerra. Moderated by Ballet Hispánico Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro, the program will include a showing by Guerra, as well as a lively discussion with the choreographer and the dancers. https://fs18.formsite.com/BalletHispanico/HHMfree/index.html
  • On Saturday, October 14 from 8-10 pm, Ballet Hispánico will offer the inaugural performance of the Ballet Hispánico Tablao seriesHeadlined by internationally celebrated dancer Nelida Tirado, thistwo-hour intimate performance will bring the Flamenco nightclub scene to the intimate Penthouse Studio of Ballet Hispánico. Tickets are $20 and there will be refreshments. https://fs18.formsite.com/BalletHispanico/Tablao/index.html
  • Throughout the month, Ballet Hispánico will curate an on-going exhibition of visual artwork from celebrated and emerging artists on the first floor of the West 89th Street carriage houses, transforming our home into a beautiful, emotionally moving gallery. 


Ballet Hispánico, the premier Latino dance organization in the United States, brings individuals and communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through dance. Whether dancing on stage, in school, or in the street, Ballet Hispánico creates a space where few institutions are breaking ground. The organization's founder, National Medal of Arts recipient Tina Ramirez, sought to give voice to the Hispanic experience and break through stereotypes. Today Ballet Hispánico is led by Eduardo Vilaro, an acclaimed choreographer and former member of the Company, whose vision of social equity, cultural identity and quality arts education for all, drives its programs. Ballet Hispánico, a role model in and for the Latino community, is inspiring creativity and social awareness in our neighborhoods and across the country by providing access to arts education.

EDUARDO VILARO joined Ballet Hispánico as Artistic Director in August 2009, becoming only the second person to head the company since it was founded in 1970. In 2015, Mr. Vilaro took on the additional role of Chief Executive Officer of Ballet Hispánico. He has been part of the Ballet Hispánicofamily since 1985 as a dancer and educator, after which he began a ten-year record of achievement as founder and Artistic Director of Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago. Mr. Vilaro has infused Ballet Hispánico's legacy with a bold and eclectic brand of contemporary dance that reflects America's changing cultural landscape. Born in Cuba and raised in New York from the age of six, he is a frequent speaker on the merits of cultural diversity and dance education.

Mr.Vilaro's own choreography is devoted to capturing the spiritual, sensual and historical essence of the Latino cultures. He created over 20 ballets for Luna Negra and has received commissions from the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Grant Park Festival, the Lexington Ballet and the Chicago Symphony. In 2001, he was a recipient of a Ruth Page Award for choreography, and in 2003, he was honored for his choreographic work at Panama's II International Festival of Ballet. In 2016, he was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame.


Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel, Up & Close in New York (June 23 - July 23). #SistineUpClose

You love Michelangelo's work? You've heard of all his beautiful and amazing art work on chapel's ceiling at Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, Rome? You have been wanting to go see it, but haven't had time, or money, or both. Well, you can see that artwork, right here in New York City, that to, up & close, from now until July 23.

The Oculus Mall (Westfield Mall?) at World Trade Center is holding this wonderful exhibition. It does cost $20, which seems a LOT, specially considering its all in open and you can see it just from outside (check out the pics) fro FREE. But if you wanna get closer, you can buy the tickets and go in. Checkout the schedule with more details and buy the tickets here:

The exhibition will move to various places all over country. Checkout the dates and details below.

Ten Toes Rejoicing with @timeslippers

My ten toes are celebrating because I cared enough to slide them into time slippers. It might read to good to be true but I suggest that you trust my ten “little piggies” and make your tired feet smile.

TI:ME® Leather Slippers look like hip sneakers, solid doppelgängers but they are a new line of footwear—which began as a Kickstarter project—are actually high-end slippers that are perfectly designed to look like sneakers. Now they are ready for purchase in three styles: lows, mids, and high-tops and to the uneducated, naked eye I look like any other urban, fashionable sneaker-head sporting the latest style but in truth, I am striding in maximum comfort.

The designers created high-performance leather slippers with low-top construction which allows for unrestricted movement. Their top-quality leather upper is ultra-soft and conforms to foot over time with the insoles made out of the same material that’s used on yoga mats. Natural wool lining wicks away moisture, keeping foot warm and dry and does not cause sweaty feet. The flexible construction also features a collapsible heel which provides for a much more agile fit. Sumo-stretch,10mm, laces reduce tension and secure lockdown. They have a lightweight, flexible outsole which is designed for indoor and outdoor use. The Leather however may become discolored or change shape if exposed to snow or rain

The chic TI:ME® Leather Slippers are prices around $100 but since they double as sneakers and slippers it’s a solid bargain both for your wallet and most importantly, for your hard working feet.

Four Star Rating!

Top 5 places to enjoy Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year, in NYC!

New York City is awesome the year around, but Holidays are even more special here in the city. There's just so much to see and do in the city. Here are the top 5 must see spots this holiday season:

Macy's 34th Street Herald Square: One of the largest departmental store, that's right here in Manhattan, is also known for some wonderful holiday celebrations etc. And it's not just Thanksgiving and Macy's Thanksgiving parade. This Macy's happens to have beautiful Christmas and holiday themed "display windows" around Holidays. It's definitely a must see!

Bryant Park - Winter Village: Walk few blocks north on 6th Avenue and you arrive to Bryant Park. During winter they have "Winter Village", there, which is basically this winter market with tons boutique shops and wonderful food etc etc. And they have a beautiful Christmas Tree as well. However the best thing is the free ice skating rink (provided you have your own skates, else you can rent skates for cheap). Skiing under the stars, in middle of the city, surrounded by iconic NYC buildings. It's wonderful. And again, it's FREE!

Time Square, NYC: Walk a block west, and you're at center of the world aka Times Square. Is it special for Christmas or Holidays or even winter? Not really. But IT's special all year round. It's freakin' TIMES SQUARE!

Rockefeller Center: Well, if your'e talking Christmas and Holidays, you can't miss this spot. This is where the famous Christmas Tree of NYC is planted. And there also skiing!

Central Park: Walk few blocks north and you arrive at Central Park. Central park is evergreen place to visit, like Times Square. But it is special in winter with another ice FREE skating rink under the stars, in middle of the city, in the beautiful & magnificent Central Park, NYC.


InStyle Partners with Leading Designers to Release Limited-Edition Tote Bags Benefiting the Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Fund

 Time Inc.’s Essence, the number one media company dedicated to African-American women, and InStyle, the world’s most successful fashion media brand, both debut October issue cover stories featuring the Obamas. Essence highlights both President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, and InStyle showcases a one-on-one interview with the First Lady.

After nearly eight years as Commander-in-Chief and First Lady, the First Couple talked candidly to Essence to reflect on their legacy, their favorite memories and what’s next after the White House. While weighing in on his most notable moments, the President states: “For me, things like My Brother’s Keeper…that’s something I’m confident we’ll be continuing after we leave…” Also, the First Lady weighs in on their impact: “I think when it comes to Black kids, it means some­thing for them to have spent most of their life seeing the family in the White House look like them. It matters...”

The October Issue of InStyle marks the first time the fashion media brand has ever featured a First Lady. In the final stretch of a polarizing election season, there’s one thing the American public can agree on: the power of Michelle Obama. She talks to InStyle about the importance of educating girls, the impact of social media and, of course, her personal style. On the influence of women globally, she states: “Girls are going to move our country and our world to a place where there’s more peace, more prosperity, more possibility, because women raise the next generations again and again and again.”

In honor of the October cover subject, InStyle has partnered with select American designers to release a line of limited-edition designer tote bags to benefit the Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Fund. Let Girls Learn is an initiative launched by the First Lady and President to help adolescent girls around the world go to school. Bringing the mission to life, each designer pays homage to one of the countries where the Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Fund is creating real change: Carolina Herrera drew inspiration from Peru, Jason Wu from Senegal, Prabal Gurung from South Africa, Narcisco Rodriguez from Malawi, DVF from Moldova, DKNY from Jamaica, and more. The collection is available for pre-order at Shop.InStyle.com on October 13 (interested parties can enter their information to receive updates starting now), with prices starting at $52—and 100% of the profits benefiting the Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Fund. 

“Both Essence and InStyle recognize the resounding influence that the First Couple has had on so many facets of our society. We are delighted that President and Mrs. Obama chose these two powerhouse brands to share their passions and engage with a diverse combined audience of nearly 50 million,” said Alan Murray, Chief Content Officer, Time Inc.

Essence and InStyle October issues will be available on newsstands and via tablet on Friday, September 16.

For details, visit Essence.com  and InStyle.com and follow both on social media:

  • Twitter: @Essence and @InStyle
  • Instagram: @Essence and @InStylemagazine
  • Snapchat: @Essencemag and @InStyle
  • www.essence.com

Shawn Blanchard: From Crack Baby to Author, Speaker & Mentor

Shawn Blanchard was born on the Westside of Detroit with drugs in his system in an environment surrounded by drugs, sex, poverty, and negative peer pressure. He has seven brothers. Today, three are deceased, and two are incarcerated. In reading this, most would assume that with his upbringing there would be no hope for a better tomorrow. They would assume that his beginning would be the very end of his story, when in fact, his story had just begun.

Present day, Shawn is a Mentorship Specialist, Author, and Speaker who has dedicated his life to mentoring and providing youth with the necessary tools needed to reach success for over 15 years. He was recently honored and awarded the President Barack Obama's Volunteer Community Service Award in DC at the White House. Art Shrian and myNewYorkeye had a conversation with Shawn, and he's smart, funny and inspiring. Just what you would expect. Here are the excerpts:

Art Shrian: You started with unfortunate beginnings, but you not only came out of it, but turned it around. Who and what motivated you to be able to do that?

Shawn Blanchard: There are honestly a ton of factors that influenced me. Quite frankly, I believe that we all have unlimited factors that have the potential to influence us if we let them. Formal mentorship was a big part of my motivation starting with my Grandmother, a high school counselor, some brothers, and some of my sisters. Even if I didn’t want to emulate someone exactly there were factors that I appreciated or they served as a “really good bad example” and I knew exactly what I didn’t want to emulate. Beyond the individuals I watched television and would see A Different World, Will Smith’s charisma and fun intelligence in Fresh Prince, James Bond’s overall articulate yet masculine finesse, Eddie Murphy’s suave persona in Boomerang, and countless others that I would sew together to produce the kind of man package I wanted to embody.

AS:  As people of color, we face injustice and lack of same opportunities everyday. How was your journey (any specific examples), and how did you overcome those obstacles?

SB: I think we should approach every situation with excellence in mind regardless of our circumstances. If you give me a seemingly impossible test, that simply means that your “impossible” is about to be my “possible”. Such situations give us the ability to strive beyond the norm. When I hear statistics or myths about my people I simply understand that there is general information out there that doesn’t apply to everyone. Society and media has a way of painting a tainted picture of people of color. I see these statistics broken all the time and in many instances the “statistics” are lies. People often talk about the amount of black men in prison when in actuality there are more black men in college then in prison. I recall being at the University of Michigan. I was told that I shouldn’t take math or economics courses because they would be difficult for me to pass given my background being from a high school in an underserved community. So, I made math and econ my major and even taught math at the University of Michigan during the summers. I take pleasure in obstacles. They tend to be opportunities.

AS: Now you're mentoring young folks, and giving back to the community through your book, seminars and other ways. How important is this to you? And how has it impacted you personally, in process of helping others?

SB: This is my life’s mission. I’m blessed because it takes some of us a lifetime to find our purpose in life. My main thought behind what I do is making sure that my presence and tools make the lives of others better. Otherwise, I would be working in vein. This has impacted my personality because it forced me to dig deep into myself, my experiences, and research to find solutions to some of life’s most difficult scenarios. It also gives me clarity of what is truly fulfilling. Making the life of another better is a real reward.

AS: You happen to be a fashion and men's style expert and successful entrepreneur as well. How important do you think dressing up and your appearance is to be successful in life? 

SB: Attire plays a helpful role in our success. It shapes the minds of others through there first impressions. I’m a firm believer in knowing you have to teach people how to treat you. An easy first step is displaying the visual aspect of excellence through attire. It displays your energy level, attention to detail, gentleman knowledge, individuality, and overall intelligence. Secondly, we have to psychologically send ourselves personal messages. One’s attire can send a message of importance to self.

AS: Any particular tips on mens styling and what's going to be HOT this summer?

SB: This summer there are a couple looks that I foresee being winners. For the dressier look patterns on patterns, neckerchiefs, and shades of grey are setting the tone. For the more relaxed look; overly distressed jeans, baseball caps, and backpacks that are cool enough to take into a boardroom will set the stage.

AS: What's your favorite TV shows, and what's in your netflix/amazon queue right now?

SB: Great Question! My favorite television show is definitely POWER! It’s a real show that some see as entertainment, however, it is definitely a reality that many are not privy to. Lately I’ve been letting it loop in amazon while I get work done to make sure I’m caught up for the upcoming season. I just started Game of Thrones… I like it!

AS: Who would you like to play you, in your biopic? Why?

SB: Hmmm… I was just having this conversation on FB Live. There are a number of actors that would play the role well. I think Michael B. Jordan or Chadwick Boseman may be good choices. I think Michael B. Jordan would be really believable because it would be playing a merger between his role in Rocky, Fruitville Station, mixed with an intellectual, charismatic care giver which I haven’t seen him do yet. Seems like he’s naturally that kind of person anyway. Chad on the other hand has mastered the art of playing another character well which we saw in Jackie Robinson. This would be a totally new role for him that I’m sure he could execute well.

AS: What's your most favorite and least favorite thing about NYC?

SB: My most favorite aspect of NYC is the hard work among the rich cultured melting pot. Between various ethnicities, food, dance, and language, there is a universal thirst for hard work and acceptance of diversity. My least favorite aspects are the rats in the subway! Those things are like small dogs! LOL!


The New York Premiere of Peter Greenaway’s “Eisenstein in Guanajuato” Kicks Off Opening Night; U.S. Premiere of “Girls Lost” Set for Closing Night;

Todd Haynes’ “Carol” is Festival Centerpiece

The festival is in partnership with Outfest, and presented by HBO

NewFest, in partnership with Outfest, today announced the lineup of their 27th annual celebration of the year’s best LGBT films from around the world. The program of nearly 100 narrative features, documentaries and shorts runs October 22-27 at the newly renovated Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas, and at the recently completed screening room at The LGBT Community Center in New York City. The festival is presented by HBO. 
Opening night will see the New York premiere of legendary filmmaker Peter Greenaway’s EISENSTEIN IN GUANAJUATO, a visually stunning, sexually explicit celebration of pioneering Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein’s gay coming of age during a trip to Mexico in the 1930s. The cinematic masterpiece, which had its world premiere to wide acclaim at the Berlinale this year, has been hailed as one of the finest films of Greenaway’s long, illustrious career. Called “outrageously unconventional and deliriously profane” by Variety, the film is sure to be the talk of the opening night party!
Closing out the festival on the 27th is Alexandra-Therese Keining’s GIRLS LOST, a thrilling story about three bullied girls who are drawn into a wild and chaotic journey when they find a magical plant whose nectar temporarily transforms them into boys. Fresh off its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it received critical acclaim, Kreining’s bold and stylish coming-of-age tale is a fascinating exploration of sexuality, identity and desire across the LGBT spectrum.
This year also features Centerpiece film CAROL, Todd Haynes’ highly-anticipated and award-winning lesbian romance starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara which won the 2015 Cannes Best Actress award for Blanchett, as well as the Queer Palm.
Other narrative highlights this year include the New York premiere of Matt Sobel’s chilling and suspenseful thriller TAKE ME TO THE RIVER (called “one of the great discoveries of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival” by Indiewire), starring Logan Miller, Robin Weigert, Richard Schiff and Josh Hamilton; the New York premiere of Mika Kaurismäki’s sumptuous period piece THE GIRL KING, about the rise and fall of Sweden’s lesbian Queen Christina; the 2015 Sundance World-Cinema Directing Award-winner THE SUMMER OF SANGAILE; and FOURTH MAN OUT, a hilarious and heartwarming twist on the coming-out genre starring Evan Todd, Chord Overstreet (GLEE) and Kate Flannery (THE OFFICE) that won the Audience Award for Dramatic Feature Film at this year’s Outfest Los Angeles.
Another major highlight of this year’s event is the world premiere of Executive Producer Eve Ensler and Katherine Fishers’ upcoming HER STORY, a web series written by transgender activist Jen Richards (I AM CAIT) and writer/actor Laura Zak (#HASHTAG) and directed by Sydney Freeland (DRUNKTOWN’S FINEST), focusing on the dating lives of Trans women in Los Angeles, followed by a panel about the series. Also featured is a SAG-AFTRA panel discussion on the evolution of transgender representation in film and television, to be moderated by trans activist Tiq Milan.
While the mainstream media seemingly embraced trans identities and lives this year, NewFest has set out to dig deeper, looking for fresh stories and unique characters. Highlights include LA VISITA (THE GUEST), a beautiful Chilean drama featuring a breakout lead performance by trans actress Daniela Vega; the documentary PEACE OF MIND about well-known transmale artist and activist Flo McGarrell’s untimely death during the 2010 Haiti Earthquake; and a TRANS SHORTS program featuring the acclaimed shorts A PLACE IN THE MIDDLE and Cheryl Dunye’s BLACK IS BLUE. 
Two additional trans documentary programs, TREASURE: FROM TRAGEDY TO TRANS JUSTICE, MAPPING A DETROIT STORY, and the 25th anniversary screening of the rarely-seen documentaries THE SALT MINES and THE TRANSFORMATION offer a chance for audiences to reflect on how much work still needs to be done to protect and empower trans people of color. 

“Our world is almost impossibly diverse,” said NewFest programmer Adam Baran, “and as a film festival, it is our duty to showcase that world as best we can. From people of color to youth films to more films by and about women, we want to illuminate as many aspects of the LGBTQ experience as possible.”
Another addition to the festival is an exciting new partnership with New York’s newly renovated LGBT Community Center, which will feature three days of screenings from Sunday, October 25 - Tuesday, October 27.
"We're thrilled to be back downtown this year with a far more expanded festival and on more screens than in recent years," said Robert Kushner, NewFest's Executive Director. "I couldn't be more proud of the program our team has put together in partnership with Outfest, and through our wonderful, new partnership with The LGBT Community Center, our programming is sure to reach a wider and more diverse audience."
Other special events include a can’t-miss Master Class with acclaimed filmmaker Ira Sachs (LOVE IS STRANGE, KEEP THE LIGHTS ON) who will sit for an illuminating discussion about the joys and challenges of being a queer filmmaker, as well as a panel on “The Renaissance of Women In Entertainment,” moderated by New York Women In Film & Television’s Executive Director Terry Lawler. 
And because NewFest lands one week before Halloween this year,  the festival will present its first ever Queer Horror Night aimed at LGBT horror fanatics, featuring three terrifying tales: Jorge Torres-Torres’ SISTERS OF THE PLAGUE, Jim Hansen’s YOU'RE KILLING ME, and Marçal Forés’ EVERLASTING LOVE, which won the Jury Award for Outstanding International Dramatic Feature at Outfest LA this year.

Olympic champion Greg Louganis will be on hand for a special screening and discussion of HBO's BACK ON BOARD: GREG LOUGANIS, while other notable faces and names in this year’s festival films include: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler, Bette Davis, Mae West, Chord Overstreet, Kate Flannery, John Waters, Rose Troche, Stacie Passon, Harmony Santana, Robin Weigert, Josh Hamilton, Clea Duvall, Josephine Decker, Drew Droege, Jack Plotnick, Chi Chi La Rue, Jeff Stryker, Amanda Lepore, Michael Musto, Zachary Quinto, Mike McCreedy, Carrie Brownstein, Patty Schemel, Macklemore, Shirley Manson, Janet Mock, Irm Hermann, Harry Baer, Lea DeLaria, Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, Casey Legler, Jen Richards and many more!

Tickets for NewFest will go on sale Wednesday, September 30th. A pre-sale to NewFest Members begins on Thursday September 24th. Opening and Closing Night tickets, which include an after-party as well as the screening, are $50 and $40 respectively; $40 and $30 for NewFest Members. The Centerpiece Film is $20; $16 for NewFest Members. For all other screenings, tickets are $16; $12 for students and seniors (62+); $12 NewFest Members. Visit
www.NewFest.org/2015 for details as well as complete film festival information.
About NewFest

NewFest is dedicated to bringing together filmmakers and audiences to build a community that passionately supports giving visibility and voice to a wide range of representations of the LGBT experience. We are committed to nurturing emerging LGBT and allied filmmakers. We support those artists who are willing to take risks in telling the stories that fully reflect the diversity and complexity of our lives. For more information, visit NewFest.org.

Founded by UCLA students in 1982, Outfest is the world’s leading organization that promotes equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBT stories on the screen. Outfest builds community by connecting diverse populations to discover, discuss and celebrate stories of LGBT lives. Over the past three decades, Outfest has showcased thousands of films from around the world, educated and mentored hundreds of emerging filmmakers, and protected more than 35,000 LGBT films and videos. 

Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world’s most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services – HBO®and Cinemax® – to approximately 122 million subscribers worldwide.  The services offer the popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand®, as well as HBO GO®and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. In April 2015, HBO NOWSM, the network’s highly anticipated standalone premium streaming service, began providing audiences with instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming in the U.S. HBO NOW is available directly through Apple or Optimum Online for a monthly subscription.  Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO OnDemand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries.  HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.



Dir/Scr: Peter Greenaway, Netherlands, 2015, 105 min

Acclaimed director Peter Greenaway (THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE & HER LOVER) serves up perhaps the finest film of his esteemed career with this bold, sexually explicit celebration of pioneering Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein’s gay coming-of-age during a trip to Mexico in the 1930s. Free of Soviet constraints, the visionary director discovers his wild side upon meeting and bedding a gorgeous tour guide, experiencing the power of romance for the first time. Greenaway’s lavishly produced and deliciously taboo film kicks dust in the face of the rickety biopic genre with the help of stunning sets and costumes, impressive cinematography, and an opulent Prokofiev-inspired score.

GIRLS LOST – Closing Night Gala
Dir/Scr: Alexandra-Therese Keining, 2016, Sweden, 105 min, In Swedish with English subtitles

For our closing night film, we’re thrilled to present this wildly original teen adventure tale from Sweden, fresh off its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.  BFFs Kim, Momo and Bella are bullied by boys at school while their teachers do nothing. On top of that, Kim secretly confesses to Bella she thinks she was born in the wrong body. So when the trio finds a magical plant whose nectar temporarily turns them into boys (with working genitalia), it offers them the thrilling chance to experience freedoms they’ve never known. But when Kim becomes addicted to the plant and pursues a dangerous relationship with a local boy she thinks might be gay, it puts everyone at risk. Though GIRLS LOST is sure to enter the pantheon of lesbian teen films alongside titles like TIMES SQUARE and SHOW ME LOVE, the film is sure to be beloved by gay, trans, and bisexual fans as well. Wherever you fall on the LGBT spectrum, you’re sure to be talking about this exciting new film for a long time to come.
CAROL – Festival Centerpiece
Dir: Todd Haynes, Scr: Phyllis Nagy, 2015, USA, 118min

In 1950’s New York, a department store clerk (Rooney Mara) and an alluring woman in a loveless marriage (Cate Blanchett) find themselves in an unexpected love affair. But as they grow closer together, their illicit relationship brings significant challenges. Acclaimed director Todd Haynes’ (FAR FROM HEAVEN) extraordinary adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s “The Price of Salt” is sure to be a major Oscar contender, with Blanchett, Mara, Kyle Chandler and Sarah Paulson turning out incredibly nuanced performances. Don’t miss one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year.


Dir/Scr: Dylan Hansen-Fliedner, Dane Mainella, Jay Jadick, Benjamin Davis, USA, 2015, 85 min

Will and Lee make beautiful music together, but Lee can’t cope with his unreciprocated feelings for his sexually confused friend. A year after they part ways, a drunken voicemail message inspires Lee to invite Will to the country for the weekend. It’s the small details of human interaction and attraction that make this fresh and formally ambitious tale so compelling, transporting us to a place where love and conflict threaten to disrupt the still waters. 

Dir: Marçal Forés, Scr: Vincente de la Torre, Spain, 2014, 69 min In Spanish with English subtitles

Teenage passion turns twisted in this unconventional horror film from director Marçal Forés (ANIMALS). When a hot-daddy teacher encounters his student in the cruising zone of a local park, the two begin a steamy affair. But when the older man’s interest cools, it’s the student who gives the teacher a lesson he’ll never forget. Calling to mind both STRANGER BY THE LAKE and NBC’s HANNIBAL, EVERLASTING LOVE will leave you both turned-on and terrified. 


Dir: Andrew Nackman, Scr: Aaron Dansick 2015, USA, 95 min

Just like his small-town bros, auto mechanic Adam enjoys drinking beer, watching hockey and inappropriate bodily functions. But Adam also likes guys. A hilarious and heartwarming spin on the coming-out comedy, FOURTH MAN OUT observes what happens whens Adam tells his friends he’s gay – and they decide to help him find a boyfriend. Winner of the 2015 Dramatic Feature Audience Award at Outfest, this bawdy comedy features Chord Overstreet (“Glee”) and Kate Flannery (“The Office”).

Dir/Scr: Stephen Cone, 2015, USA, English, 87 min

Henry Gamble is a Christian teen who has become skilled at hiding his sexuality from his ultra-religious parents and the devout, anti-gay community that surrounds them. When Henry’s parents throw him a pool party for his 17th birthday, tensions erupt, passions flare, and secrets threaten to float to the surface. Director Stephen Cone (THE WISE KIDS) has crafted a gripping and fascinating portrait of a closed community struggling with emerging desires in modern times.

Dir/Scr: Jay Dockendorf, USA, 2014, 86min

Two young, black, gay Muslim boys begin an affair they must keep hidden from their Brooklyn community. But when an undercover FBI agent incorrectly assumes the pair is involved in a criminal enterprise, this sweet ode to love soon transforms into a serious and timely study of racism and religion in everyday America. In his observational and intimate debut, writer-director Jay Dockendorf proves himself an exciting new voice in independent cinema.

Dir: Jorge Torres-Torres, Scr: Jorge Torres-Torres, Jason Banker, USA, 2015, 74 min

Jo (Josephine Decker) enjoys leading haunted house tours around New Orleans. But when her father moves into the house she shares with her girlfriend, terrifying supernatural things start really happening. Seeking a medium’s help, Jo finds she is facing something way beyond her control. Jorge Torres-Torres’ intensely creepy debut echoes the cult classic POSSESSION in evoking horror from a fractured romantic relationship. Fans of last year’s lesbian horror hit LYLE are sure to love this.

Dir/Scr: Matt Sobel, 2015, USA, 95 min

Artistic, brash, short-shorts wearing teen Ryder plans to come out to his conservative Nebraska relatives at their family reunion, much to his mother’s (Robin Weigert, CONCUSSION) dismay. But when his uncle (Josh Hamilton) suspects him of a mysterious transgression involving his 9-year-old cousin, he discovers that some family secrets might be better left untouched. Matt Sobel’s chilling, superbly-acted directorial debut unfolds in a tense atmosphere of mounting dread that contrasts with its stunning cinematography and idyllic setting.

Dir/Scr: Joey Kuhn, USA, 2015, 89 min

Impressionable young painter Charlie is consumed with best friend and longtime crush Sebastian, whose father’s Bernie Madoff-esque scandal has left him penniless. Sebastian’s coping mechanism is non-stop hedonism, and he insists Charlie join him on his self-destructive ride having sex, drinking and partying at his father’s massive penthouse. Manhattan’s Upper East Side provides the gilded backdrop for a tale of entitlement, privilege, and the potentially disastrous repercussions on young lives and loves.

Dir: Jim Hansen, Scr: Jim Hansen, Jeffery Self, USA, 2015, 88 min

In this hilarious (and very bloody) horror comedy, George (Jeffery Self) is an internet comedy star whose friends only speak two languages: irony and sarcasm. So when George’s deranged new boyfriend Joe tells him he’s a serial killer, George thinks it’s a joke and plays along, unknowingly encouraging Joe to keep killing – until his increasingly suspicious friends start disappearing. Cult comedy favorites Drew Droege, Jack Plotnick and Mindy Cohn round out the body count.


Dir: Mika Kaurismäki, Scr: Michel Marc Bouchard, Finland, Canada, Germany, Sweden, 2015, 106 min, in English, French, and German with English subtitles

In 1933, Greta Garbo could only hint at lesbianism in her famous Hollywood historical drama about Sweden’s Queen Christina. This lavish and romantic re-imagining is not so coy, as the queer queen invites her beautiful handmaiden to be her “bed-warmer”, refuses to wear dresses or marry, and then must face the consequences from the conservative political establishment. Anyone addicted to historical dramas like WOLF HALL and REIGN is sure to love this sumptuous and sexy period piece.

Dir/Scr: Maurício López Fernández, Argentina, Chile, 2014, 82 min, In Spanish with English subtitles

After her father’s unexpected death, Elena returns home for the first time in years. Her arrival shocks the household, who last knew her as a quiet, unassuming young man. As everyone struggles to make sense of Elena’s presence during the weekend, Elena struggles to come to terms with her past and the father who never really knew her. Director Mauricio López Fernández’s enthralling first feature is anchored by trans actress Daniela Vega’s remarkable lead performance.

Dir/Scr: Fina Torres, Venezuela, 2015, 100 min, Spanish with English subtitles

In Fina Torres’ acclaimed Venezuelan adaptation of Jane Chambers’ groundbreaking 1980 play “Last Summer at Bluefish Cove”, strong-willed womanizer Liz refuses to call attention to her health issues. When she meets the equally troubled Eva, the two sense a powerful chemistry that goes beyond anything either have felt in past romances. Both have secrets to hide, and yet their connection leads them down an unexpected path where their views of love and life change forever.

Dir/Scr: Christina Zeidler, Canada, 2014, 83 min

As much as Elsie loves her women, what she really relishes is a fast, easy breakup. Long regarded as a highly successful and self-proclaimed serial monogamist, Elsie finds her stride in running free from commitment – until she develops feelings for a recent ex. Diane Flacks proves a sexy and magnetic leading lady throughout this charming romantic dramedy, demonstrating to audiences why girls keep risking their sanity for a woman all too happy to break hearts.

Dir/Scr: Alanté Kavaïté, France/Lithuania/The Netherlands, 2015, 88 min, In Lithuanian with English Subtitles

Winner of the World Cinema Directing Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, Alanté Kavaïté’s THE SUMMER OF SANGAILE is one of the year’s most visually stunning and romantic films. A chance meeting in the Lithuanian countryside brings two restless young women close – the angst-ridden Sangaile, who dreams of becoming a pilot, and the beautiful, fearless fashionista Auste. But they must take a leap of faith together if they want to find love and self-fulfillment.

Dir: Catherine Stewart. Scr: Vanessa Herman, Amy Jephta, Matthew Krouse, Nodi Murphy.  South Africa, 2015, 75 min, English

The complex political and racial climate of South Africa is beautifully encapsulated in this drama about the tension between liberal bourgeois ideals and working-class realities. Affluent mixed-race lesbian couple Dez and Terri struggle to maintain their own desires while reining in their rebellious daughter Asanda. When Asanda falls for a girl from a different background, Dez and Terri must face their own hypocrisies and secrets, which threaten to unravel the seemingly perfect world they’ve crafted.


Dir: Alden Peters, USA, 2015, 72 min

When Alden Peters finally makes the decision to come out, he brings a camera to film each conversation, hoping it will keep any negative reactions at bay. As Peters captures the surprising reactions to his revelation, he also explores the recent phenomenon of young LGBTQ kids coming out to their loved ones on YouTube. Featuring interviews with experts like Janet Mock, COMING OUT is a heartwarming exploration of a common experience across queer generations.

Dir/Scr: Daniel F. Cardone, USA, 2015, 80 min

The introduction of the protease inhibitor “cocktail” meant that an HIV/AIDS diagnosis was no longer an automatic death sentence – but what of the men who expected to die only to discover they would survive? This illuminating documentary introduces us to a group of such men, all of whom have found a community in Palm Springs where they continue to thrive after living with HIV for three decades. The town’s enigmatic allure empowers their ongoing pursuit of a long, happy life.

Dir/Scr: Christian Braad Thomsen, 2015, Germany, 109 min, In German with English subtitles

Between 1966 and 1982, the great gay German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder made 44 films, many of which featured LGBT stories and characters, including QUERELLE, FOX AND HIS FRIENDS and THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT. Director Christian Braad Thomsen had many opportunities to interview Fassbinder over the years, and using these never-before-seen discussions, plus interviews with members of Fassbinder’s company, Thomsen crafts a complex and brilliant analysis of the queer auteur’s controversial, all-too-brief life.

Dir/Scr: Swann Dubus, Tran Phuong Thao, Vietnam, 2015, In Vietnamese with English subtitles

This uplifting documentary follows Phong, a Vietnamese transwoman, over the course of a year in which she comes out of her shell while preparing to undergo gender confirmation surgery, which causes conflict with her elderly parents. Mixing traditional documentary and personal documentary formats (Phong uses her own camera to record daily video diaries which reveal her innermost hopes and fears), FINDING PHONG observes a complex yet ultimately inspiring journey of the self.

Dir/Scr: Cesar Terranova, Brazil/French Polynesia/USA, 2014, 93 min

Paulo is an HIV positive Brazilian flight attendant who travels the world, but at night he becomes Gazelle, an NYC clubkid queen famous for serving truly outrageous looks. But when his health is compromised and other ghosts from the past surface, Paulo must transform himself again in order to heal. Featuring appearances by Amanda Lepore, Joey Arias, Flawless Sabrina, Michael Musto, Kenny Kenny and more, GAZELLE is an exuberant portrait of a truly original character.

Dir: Marq Evans, Scr: Marq Evans, Jeff Gilbert, USA, 2015, 80 min

Before iTunes killed rock radio, Seattle DJ Marco Collins took it to its apex by breaking artists like Nirvana, Beck, Garbage and Weezer during the grunge-era of the 1990’s. But despite Collins’ remarkable career, addiction and sexual repression pushed his personal life to the brink. Weaving interviews with alternative icons like Shirley Manson, Carrie Brownstein, Mike McCready and pop star Macklemore alongside archival conversations with Kurt Cobain, director Marq Evans illuminates an unsung gay musical hero.

Dir: Jake Witzenfeld, United Kingdom, Israel, 2015, 79 min, in Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles

This captivating documentary follows three gay Palestinian friends struggling with problems both personal and political. Fadi feels guilt-ridden about dating a Zionist; Khader struggles with the desire to leave Israel; Khaeem worries about coming out to his family. Determined to make a change, they form a non-violent, cultural resistance group making viral content for gender and national equality. Though it may not change the world, sharing their personal struggles helps them to deal with living their multifaceted identities.

Dir/Scr: Cary Cronenwett, USA, 2014, 77 min. Creole, English with English subtitles

Cary Cronenwett’s portrait of the late transmale artist-activist Flo McGarrell is a stirring meditation on collaboration, longing and loss. While adapting Kathy Acker’s “Kathy Goes to Haiti,” to star artist Zackary Drucker, McGarrell was killed in the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Using footage shot for McGarrell’s film, past collaborations and interviews with the queer Haitians McGarrell mentored at the FOSAJ arts center, Cronenwett blends documentary with lush image-making and a startlingly emotional interiority.

Dir(s):Susana Aikin, Carlos Aparicio, USA, 1990/1995, In English, Spanish with English subtitles, 105 min

In 1990, director Susana Aikin told the stories of three homeless Latina trans women she befriended, all living on Manhattan’s west side piers and hustling to support their drug habits. THE SALT MINES aired on PBS and opened America’s eyes to this marginalized segment of society. One year later, diagnosed with HIV, one of Aiken’s subjects was given help by a church at the cost of renouncing her trans identity. This dramatic change is heartbreakingly depicted in THE TRANSFORMATION. Join Aikin and representatives from local trans activist organizations as we revisit these staggeringly powerful documentaries, and then discuss the obstacles that still exist for trans women of color today.

Dir/Scr: Nneka Onuorah, 2015, USA, 78min

Nneka Onuorah’s fascinating documentary examines what happens when African-American lesbians discriminate against each other over violations of the strict code that separates butches from femmes. Onuorah breaks down the rules (no long hair, makeup, getting pregnant) then talks to women who’ve been on the receiving end of hate for crossing these lines. Onuorah shows how these behaviors reproduce the homophobic oppression of the straight world, while looking for solutions in compelling discussions with community members including THE WIRE’s Felicia “Snoop” Pearson.

Dir/Scr: Michael Stabile, USA, 2015, 69 min

Michael Stabile’s sexually charged documentary takes viewers back to the 1980’s, when Falcon Studios, the biggest gay porn company in the world, dictated the fantasies of gay men everywhere. The complicated man behind Falcon was Chuck Holmes, who struggled with both FBI persecution and AIDS. Stabile skillfully traces Holmes’ wild and chaotic story via archival footage and interviews with some of porn’s biggest names and fans, including Jeff Stryker, Jake Shears, John Waters, Chi Chi LaRue and more.

Dir/Scr: Dream Hampton, 2015, USA, 63 min

In 2011,Treasure, a black trans teen from Detroit who sometimes did sex work, was found brutally murdered. Though it was initially assumed to be a hate crime, it turned out Treasure was killed by a drug dealer she informed on after police threatened to send her to a men’s prison. Without fetishizing the details, this powerful documentary examines the crime and the way her loved ones have turned themselves into activists to ensure something like this never happens again.

Dir: Ellen Brodsky, USA, 2014, 68 min

This emotionally powerful documentary profiles True Colors, a remarkable LGBTQ youth theater group in Boston where performers act out their own stories with wit and candor for local schools. From a trans teen kicked out of her home to a Christian standing up to his church, these adolescent artists share their most painful and proud moments. When the Boston Marathon bombing occurs near their studio, the troupe become even more determined that the show must go on.

Dir/Scr: Wes Wheadon, USA, 2015, 64 min

In 1973, Wes Wheadon attended a party where legendary actress Bette Davis would first meet the equally iconic Mae West. Wheadon brought along a tape recorder and wound up capturing mutual admiration between the two stars, along with discussions on romantic relationships, censorship, and what they really thought of their drag queen imitators. This unique documentary – a must for fans of the two stars – brings that evening to life in a clever and compelling fashion.


Dir: Cheryl Furjanic, Scr: Cheryl Furjanic, Karen Sim, Will Sweeney, USA, 2015

With unprecedented access to trailblazing openly gay Olympic champion Greg Louganis, BACK ON BOARD reveals the complicated life of an athlete whose grace, beauty, and courage sparked a worldwide fascination with diving. This intimate portrait chronicles his public triumphs and private struggles as an HIV-positive sports icon as he re-emerges on the world stage to combat prejudice, promote tolerance, and return to the diving world. Followed by a conversation with Greg Louganis himself!

Dir: Sydney Freeland, Scr: Jen Richards, Laura Zak, 2015, USA, 65 min

HER STORY is a groundbreaking, much buzzed-about new series about two trans women who have given up on love when chance encounters offer them hope. With an impressive pedigree including director Sydney Freeland (DRUNKTOWN’S FINEST), writers Jen Richards (I AM CAIT) and Laura Zak (#HASHTAG) and Executive Producers Eve Ensler and Katherine Fisher, Her Story promises to be one of the most exciting trans shows of the year. Join us for a sneak preview followed by a Q&A with the creators.


Ira Sachs burst onto the queer film scene with THE DELTA (1996), but when he started telling straight stories he won awards and Hollywood attention. It wasn’t until 2010 that Sachs realized he needed to tell queer stories again, which resulted in the acclaimed dramas KEEP THE LIGHTS ON (2012) and LOVE IS STRANGE (2014). Filmmakers and film fans alike are invited to join us for an illuminating conversation with last year’s NewFest Visionary Award recipient about his career, the joys and challenges of being a queer filmmaker, and how to tell one’s truth on film.

Presented in partnership with New York Women in Film And Television. Moderated by Terry Lawler.

In a year where the spotlight is firmly on female filmmakers, women in entertainment take the stage to share their stories. Expect to hear anecdotes, insights, and advice as well as uncensored reactions to the recent media coverage addressing women in film. New York Women In Film & Television’s Executive Director Terry Lawler moderates a conversation that you won’t want to miss, featuring Writer/Director/Producer Rose Troche (THE L WORD, GO FISH), Writer/Director Stacie Passon (CONCUSSION), documentary filmmaker Nneka Onuorah and more. With the support of the Alliance of Women Directors and Film Fatales.

Presented in partnership with SAG AFTRA. Moderated by Tiq Milan.

Join a candid discussion about the evolution of transgender representation in film and television. The media is abuzz with trans representation. Some have called this a revolutionary development, while others in the trans community have expressed skepticism. SAG AFTRA’s National LGBT Committee discusses the pros and the cons of the “trans”-formation of mainstream media with a panel of trans actors and moderator Tiq Milan. Featuring Harmony Santana (GUN HILL ROAD), Michelle Hendley (BOY MEETS GIRL) and more.




This deliciously dirty collection of sexy gay shorts revolves around that age-old gay pastime: cruising! Turn off GRINDR and SCRUFF and join us for some late night fun… Includes: PIX, HATTIE GOES CRUISING, POP-UP PORNO:M4M, THE TRICKS LIST, HOLE, JUST A FEW THINGS, CATHARSIS, LIMANAKIA.


When you’re young everything seems really intense: Your first kiss, your first heartbreak, your first time expressing yourself as you really are. In this collection of mixed shorts, you’ll see how LGBTQ youth navigate the alternatively thrilling and treacherous path toward adulthood. Includes: AN AFTERNOON, CHARLOTTE, HOUSE NOT HOME, READ ALOUD, MONA, TREMULO, PEACOCK.


NewFest’s experimental shorts showcase transports you to the other side with Charles Atlas, Milli Vanilli, Xina Xurner, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, M Lamar, a heavy dose of glitter and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Includes: COLOR NEUTRAL, UNTITLED (AM I PRETTY MOMMY?), ADVENTURES OF PEPPRE ANN AND FROENDS, BERLIN MIX LIVE, DEAR LOU SULLIVAN, FORMER MODELS, THE LAMPS, THE FALL OF COMMUNISM, SURVEILLANCE PUNISHMENT AND THE BLACK PSYCHE PART TWO OVERSEER, SASHAY AWAY.


Stories of strength, struggle and survival come to life in this compelling program of nonfiction shorts about LGBT people fighting back against oppression, revisiting moments from their past, and trying to unravel complex mysteries. Includes: THE LITTLE DEPUTY, DYLAN, AFTER SILENCE, IN THE HOLLOW, SEX, POLITICS AND STICKY RICE, BEDDING ANDREW, GAYSIANS, A LEGACY OF DEVOTION, WHO STOLE THE RUBY SLIPPERS?


This compelling collection of narrative and documentary shorts looks beyond the trans stories embraced by the mainstream media to highlight trans and gender non-conforming individuals charting bold and complex paths. Includes: FIRST NIGHT OUT, A PLACE IN THE MIDDLE, THE FRIEND FROM TEL AVIV, FLOAT, BROCKINGTON, BLACK IS BLUE, OYA: SOMETHING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO WEST AFRICA.


In this collection of the best dramatic shorts on the LGBT festival circuit, you’ll meet people navigating passionate relationships including lesbian actresses, an anorexic trans man, and two gay Chilean lovers. Includes: ACTRESSES, BROTHER ON LOW, LIKE HOPE, RELAPSE, MA/DDY, SAN CRISTOBAL.

The UN accomplishes Expo’s theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy For Life” in Milan

The world had been waiting for Expo2015 to open its doors. The mission set by the Universal Exposition in the Italian northern city seems to be conquered by the United Nations.

The Pavilion Zero truly embraces the zero hunger challenge in an ambiance where aesthetics match semantics. The importance of plants biodiversity are thoroughly explored with a majestic video art project and installations, that will plunge you in the treasure of forests, worthy of the most prestigious art biennales. 

The domestication of animals retrace the history of mankind and the poetry of breeding, as the making of an alliance betwixt savage beasts and humankind. This topic is further explored through quality and sustainability in animal production and, naturally, food.

But contrarily to all other pavilions, where nourishment triumphs not as symbol of what is due to worldwide countries but as a mere globalized fashionable product, the United Nations manage to heighten the value of the eating table. Nutrition thusly embodies the theatre of the world: the table is the ancient place of unity, cohesion, the lieu where territories meet.

All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players, breeding, farming, hunting, fishing. From the rural to the industrial world, the great potential expressed by machinery revolutionizes the consumption and approach to food, that becomes part of the mass production process. This causes perilous consequences, that lead to the paradox of waste. 

In Pavilion Zero the entire history of man’s approach to nutrition is handled with great entertaining didactics in a truly enchanting scenery. The message of food waste resonates stronger than ever and the act of sharing takes the stage through the powerful words bequeathed to Milan’s Expo all the way from the New York Headquarters of the United Nations, from the very Secretary General Ban Ki-moon UN Secretary General:

“I appeal to all people everywhere to raise their voices. Speak out on behalf of this planet, our only home. Let us care for Mother Earth, so she can continue to take care for us as she has done for millennia.”

Watch Expo show 2015 videos

Official Website: http://www.expo2015.org/en/