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‘LEONA’ Review AJFF: A Jewish girl defies her family’s rules of attraction

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In an era where women are fiercely denouncing gender norms, “LEONA” is a feminist’s cinematic dream. The film examines the evolution of a young woman’s self-discovery amidst her family’s traditional Jewish beliefs on love.

In Spanish director Isaac Cherem’s “Leona,” the brilliant Naian González Norvind plays Ariela, a young Jewish woman from Mexico City who finds herself torn between her strict family’s beliefs and loving a non-Jewish man, Ivan (Christian Vazquez). For Ivan, relationships have no bounds in terms of race and background. For her, however, her family’s opposing views on intermarriage quickly throw a wrench in the relationship.

The narrative harboring over González’s character is identifiable for many women trying to figuring who they are in their mid-twenties. Throughout the film, Ariela finds herself struggling to make life-altering choices regarding her career and love life at the expense of her family’s expedited demands.

A street artist is no profession for a Jewish woman in the eyes of her community and marrying or dating a non-Jew is simply an abomination but to Ariela that was her life and what kept her going. Scene after scene, the 25-year-old rebelled against what was expected of her. And while life may have seemed to be dismantling, her confidence as a woman was strangely falling into place.

Ultimately her non-Jewish boyfriend called it quits after she refused to introduce him to her racist family as if she had the option. As for the tall , Jewish specimen her cousins forced on her after the fact she made the decision to leave him also.

The film does end with a fairytale ending, just not what you’d expect. Let’s just say Ariela wins in the end. We won’t give too many spoilers away but it’s definitely a must-watch.

The review serves as part of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. For more information, click here.

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Rema drops Afrobeat track dedicated to women around the globe

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Rema by Niyi Okeowo

For the third week in a row, Rema is set to release “anotha banga.” Dropping on Mavin Records/Jonzing World, “Woman” is a song that expresses his appreciation and admiration for all females. 

Recently crowned Apple Music’s Up Next artist – previously awarded to Billie Eilish, Khalid & H.E.R – Afropop’s prince Rema has now released a trio of singles throughout June and July. He kicked things off with “Ginger Me,” a song created in a late-night studio session in London with UK producer The Elements. Quickly followed by trap-influenced track “Alien” which took us on a trippy journey through the mind of a young heartbreaker. 

Crediting his parents for introducing him to Fela Kuti & 2Face, Rema draws influences far beyond West Africa with Bollywood, Trap, Afrobeats, and Pop all becoming part of his trademark sound. With co-signs from the likes of Drake, Barack Obama and now Rihanna, Rema is on his way for a global takeover.

Stream “Woman” via Spotify below.

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NiteLite Pictures unleashes Coronavirus Positivity Initiative

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NiteLite Pictures’ Harry Lowell and Ari Wilhelm

In response to a real demand from its broadcast, Web and distribution partners, as well as charities seeking support, award-winning, Los Angeles-based production company NiteLite Pictures has unveiled the Coronavirus Positivity Initiative, a worldwide effort to create programming that promotes togetherness, community and celebrates the human spirit during the global lockdown.  

Under the banner of the Coronavirus Positivity Initiative, the company is launching a series of programs that spotlight the heroes on the front lines, inspiring individuals from around the world, and comedy shows that take a lighter look at life during the pandemic. All the programs will feature real people from around the globe in an effort to help bring audiences closer together.  

“This is truly a unique time in the world’s history,” comments NiteLite producer Ari Wilhelm.  

“While everyone is doing their part to help keep family and communities safe, there is a need for entertainment content like never before, and specifically relevant, uplifting content that is understanding and respectful of the situation we are all living.”

NiteLite is working closely on the initiative with its UK sales agent Meredith Coral of Lost Art Television to develop programming content tailored to viewing audiences and requested by broadcasters and media platforms during this time.

“NiteLite is responding to broadcasters’ needs and the audiences desires for not only new content, but relevant content to their current situation,” adds NiteLite executive producer Harry Lowell.

“We’re developing heartwarming and comedy programming  that connects to people’s lives during this new norm, while devising production solutions to deliver shows in a matter of days, not months, both remotely and safely.”

The entertainment hub will produce “self quarantine-based” content designed to resonate and connect to audiences. The company’s homebound, creative teams are currently developing engaging programming that can be produced quickly and remotely, while under stay at home orders.

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Oscilloscope’s ‘THE INFILTRATORS’ headed to Virtual Cinema next month

Official 2019 Sundance Film Festival selection, THE INFILTRATORS is a [chilling documentary chronicling the lives] of young immigrants who are detained by Border Patrol and thrown into for-profit detention center— on purpose.

Marco and Viri are members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of radical DREAMers who are on a mission to stop unjust deportations.

The film will be available via Virtual Cinema starting May 1 and VOD starting June 2.

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