- Created on 15 April 2013
The Jackie Robinson biopic, "42," “overperformed,” according to Deadline.com, doing much better than expected and was the top grossing movie over the weekend with $27.3 million.
The impressive debut is a record for a baseball movie, topping the $19.5M debut of 2011′s Moneyball.
The film, which cost $38 million to produce, out-swung even the most ambitious expectations in the low-$20 millions, easily winning the weekend that included “Scary Movie 5,” which landed in the second position at $15.2 million, Variety reported.
Multiple scenes for the movie were shot throughout Georgia.
Exit polling showed the audience composition was males 48 percent females 52 percent; under age 25 was 17 percent, age 25 and up 83 percent, and the main reason for attending the movie was subject matter 84 percent. A Warner Bros exec told Deadline: “While we do not poll race breakdown, I can tell you we performed extremely well in all the large urban markets. But the highest grossing theaters were the country’s most commercial screens.”
Today is MLB’s Jackie Robinson Day where every player wears Robinson’s 42 and Deadline predicts that grosses for today could “stay level” because of the attention.
Thomas Tull, the movie’s producer, told Deadline that he relied on Robinson’s widow Rachel Robinson to help with the movie. “Her voice helped us with authenticity. That was the person who lived it,” Tull said. “And that was a really important story for us to tell.”
- Created on 11 April 2013
AfricaBelle Festival Bringing Communities Together While Celebrating African and Francophone Culture
The French speaking African culture is closer than most Atlantans realize. Instead of learning about the culture from television, reading about it or even making a trip to Africa, the Alliance Française d' Atlanta's widely attended AfricaBelle Festival can enlighten one's curiosity on the culture and its people right here in Atlanta.
For the entire month of April the AfricaBelle Festival will not only serve as a celebration for French speaking Africans but as an outlet for French speakers to mingle and socialize as a means of connecting their culture with the Atlanta community.
"We wanted something really fun. We wanted it to be light and fun yet we wanted to educate people," said Obsé Ababiya, Director of Outreach and Development for Alliance Française d' Atlanta.
"We also wanted to provide a venue for the African French speaking community in Atlanta to present their work and by the same token we wanted to present that culture to the general community in Atlanta."
The AfricaBelle Festival will host its third annual community and cultural celebration during the month long celebration which began April 10 and runs through April 27. It will provide free and ticketed cultural events to expand the perception of Africans while celebrating their culture through art, food and fellowship.
"This is a brain child of the executive director, Hélène Touré. She wanted a series of events focused on Africa," said Ababiya. "It started it out with just one event but then we ended up with a series. It just exploded. We thought it would be just a one-time thing but no, there is a demand for it. So we kept doing it. Now it's our third year."
Supported in part by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs and presented in partnership with the High Museum's Friend of African Art, this years' festival will focus on African fashion and identity. The High Museums' Friends of African Art will promote the "Symmetry/Asymmetry: African Textiles, Dress and Adornment" exhibition funded by the Fred and Rita Richman Special Initiative Endowment from March 23 thru August 25.
"The High often partners with the Alliance Française but this is the most extensive High/AF program related to African art," said Carol Thompson the Fred and Rita Richman Curator of African Art at the High Museum.
Thompson, who met Ababiya years ago when taking French classes to prepare her for a visit to Burkina Faso, is an example of how connected the African and French speaking community is and how much a part of the Atlanta community they are and can be.
"The hardest part about this festival is, really not knowing exactly which African groups to promote our events to," said Ababiya. "A lot of it is done through word of mouth."
"The other problem is there isn't a French-speaking African consulate in town. There isn't one unit body that organizes everybody; there isn't a database of people's mailing list," she added.
Statistically, there are approximately 136 million people who speak French worldwide. More than 90 million of those French speakers live in Africa. It is significant information like this that is often unknown by people who have never been introduced to the culture.
The Alliance Française d' Atlanta, founded in 1912, offers French language lessons in addition to cultural exchange programs that promote the French culture.
The Alliance Française is an independent, non-profit organization. It serves the community by encouraging the study of the French language and its cultures while fostering cultural, intellectual and artistic interactions between the French-speaking world and local communities.
"Because of this same language that they all share, there is a culture. Even if each culture is different, because they share the same language it makes communication easier. You speak the same language, you are like home," said Ségolène de Marolles, Marketing and Communication Director at the Alliance Française d' Atlanta.
Most of the AfricaBelle events will be at the Alliance Française, which is located at 1197 Peachtree Street, Colony Square, Plaza level, Suite 561 in Midtown.
Below is a schedule of events for Africa Belle 2013.
Film & discussion: Pièces d'identité
Wednesday April 10 @ 7pm: $10
African Storytelling and Arts & Crafts for Children
Saturday April 13 at 10am to 13 pm for children
Children 6-12 years old: $5 parents/guardian: free
Cultural Workshop: "Fashion & identity in Zanzibar, the Paris of the Swahili coast" by Sidney Kasfir, Professor Emerita, Art History Department, Emory University
April 24 at 7pm @ the High Museum of Art: Free
AfricaBelle Community Soirée
April 27 at 7pm to 11pm, student $15- AF members: $20- Non-members: $25.
Art Exhibit: Symmetry/Asymmetry: African Textiles, Dress, and Adornment. "Meet the collector: Michael Mack"
@ the High Museum of Art, Skyway Gallery, Wieland Pavilion at 6:00pm to 7:00pm, fee: $10
For more details on the AfricaBelle Festival and for reservations, visit afatl.com.
- Created on 12 April 2013
START ATL, an interactive symposium that teaches urban entrepreneurs how to start and grow digital businesses, will hold its inaugural conference at the Spelman College Science Center NASA Auditorium on Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Attendees will be able to pitch their digital business ideas and could win up to $5,000 in prizes. Early bird registration, ending April 12 is $49. To register, visit http://startatl.eventbrite.com or call 1-347-460-5115 for more information.
START is part of a nationwide series created by digitalundivided (DID). DID is a social enterprise that builds forward-thinking initiatives that change the digital space by increasing the number of Black and Latino women digital entrepreneurs.
Business experts such as Navarrow Wright, CTO of Interactive One, and Kendra Bracken Ferguson, founder of Digital Brand Architects, and leading investors Lauren Maillian Bias, managing director of Gen Y Capital, and Eghosa Omoigui, managing director of EchoVC, will be on hand to offer expert advice and information to those who attend and have an idea for the next big website, mobile app or blog.
Some of the panels include everything from "What You Need To Know Before Leaving Your Day Job" and "Everything You Need To Know To Build Your Site/Product" to "How to Ask for Money for Your Business" and "How to Market Your Company on the Cheap."
"There are 10.1 million firms in the United States that are owned by women, and people of color are among the fastest growing demographic of the population," said Jane Smith, executive director of the Spelman College Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement. "It is this reality, along with the role of technology in our lives, that motivated Spelman to become the host sponsor of this event."
From the Wall Street Journal to Essence Magazine, DID's activities and initiatives continue to drive the discussion around people of color in the digital space. DID (www.digitalundivided.com) was founded in 2012 by Kathryn Finney, a leader in the social media space, editor-at-large at the global social media powerhouse BlogHer and one of the first style bloggers on the web. In less than six months DID has had a significant impact on increasing the number of successful digital entrepreneurs of color.
- Created on 10 April 2013
(CNNMoney) -- President Obama on Wednesday will propose a $3.77 trillion budget for 2014 that would cut deficits by $1.8 trillion over the next decade, according to senior administration officials.
Obama's budget blueprint -- which has already drawn criticism from the left and the right -- will offer changes to Medicare and Social Security. It will also include tax increases that would primarily hit high-income households and corporations.
The plan will call for greater spending on infrastructure, early childhood education and nondefense research. Those investments would be paid for by other measures so that they don't add to deficits, officials said.
The president's budget is late this year, coming after the Senate and House have each passed separate and very different 2014 budget frameworks.
While it's not expected to fly on Capitol Hill, Obama's budget nonetheless sets an important marker for continuing debt talks with lawmakers.
Boost infrastructure spending: The president's budget will call for a $50 billion investment to, among other things, repair highways, bridges, transit systems and airports. He would also create a National Infrastructure Bank to bring together public and private capital for important projects.
Change how inflation is measured: Obama has already gotten blasted from the left for supporting a switch to "chained CPI," which is a new way to measure inflation that would reduce projected federal spending by slowing the growth in federal benefits that are annually adjusted for cost of living. Those include Social Security benefits.
His budget, however, will also call for ways to compensate for the change for low-income veterans, recipients of Supplemental Security Income and the oldest Social Security beneficiaries, a senior administration official said.
Chained CPI would also raise more revenue, since many parts of the tax code are adjusted for inflation every year -- including income tax brackets, the standard deduction and contribution limits to 401(k)s.
By 2020, the use of chained CPI could mean an average tax increase of $311 among the nearly 81% of households that would see a tax increase, the Tax Policy Center estimates.
Cap value of itemized deductions: As he has proposed before, the president wants to limit the value of itemized deductions and exclusions for high-income households.
Normally a taxpayer multiplies her top tax rate by the amount of a deduction to calculate the taxes saved. But Obama would cap that rate at 28%, which is below the top two income tax rates. So someone in the 39.6% bracket today would save $39.60 on a $100 deduction. Under Obama's proposal, she would save $28.
Enact a Buffett Rule: Last year, Obama proposed the "Buffett Rule" as a guiding principle for tax reform.
The idea: to make sure that people earning more than $1 million paid their "fair share" of federal tax -- which he defined as a minimum of 30%.
This year, he will include a more concrete version similar to one proposed in a bill last year by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, according to a senior official.
The Senate legislation would impose a minimum 30% effective federal tax rate on those with adjusted gross incomes above $1 million, although it phases in for those making between $1 million and $2 million.
Taxpayers subject to the Buffett Rule would still get a break for charitable deductions when calculating what they would owe under the Buffett Rule.
Impose new limit on tax-deferred retirement accounts: Among his new tax measures, Obama would set a limit on the tax-advantaged portion of an individual's savings across IRAs and other tax-preferred retirement accounts.
The account balance threshold would be based on what could finance an annuity of $205,000 a year in retirement. In 2013, that would be $3 million, the administration estimates.
At that threshold, the proposal would affect far less than 1% of IRA and 401(k) account holders, according to estimates from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Depending on how the threshold is adjusted in future years, however, that percentage could rise significantly.
Raise tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products: To fund expanded access to pre-K education, an idea raised in the State of the Union address, Obama will propose a new federal tax on cigarette and other tobacco products.
It won't be the first time. In 2009, he signed into law a federal tax increase on cigarettes to help pay for an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health care for 8 million children.
Raise tax rate on investment fund manager income: Managers of private equity, venture capital and hedge funds are taxed 20% on the portion of their compensation known as carried interest, essentially paying the long-term capital gain rate. Obama wants carried interest to be treated as ordinary income. The result: fund managers could pay a rate as high as 39.6%, or more than 2.5 times the rate they pay now.
Reduce deficits by $1.8 trillion: Obama's debt reduction proposal comes straight from an offer he made to House Speaker John Boehner last year during their fiscal cliff negotiations.
The proposal would replace the automatic budget cuts that went into effect last month.
Close to $600 billion of the $1.8 trillion would come from new revenue -- specifically the cap on itemized deductions and the Buffett Rule.
The other $1.2 trillion would come from spending cuts: $200 billion from defense and nondefense programs on the discretionary side of the budget. Another $400 billion from Medicare and other federal health programs in ways that largely affect hospitals and drug companies. And $600 billion in cuts affecting non-health spending on things like agricultural subsidies and unemployment insurance.
A senior administration official characterized Obama's offer to Boehner, which these measures represent, not as a starting point for talks but a "sticking point," noting that if Republicans can't agree to include revenue as part of any negotiated package "there will be no deal."
It is unlikely the president's proposals will be adopted wholesale. But if they were, his budget would bring total deficit reduction in his tenure to $4.3 trillion.