David Cronenberg’s MAPS TO THE STARS Acquired by Focus World for Early 2015 Release

Filmmaker David Cronenberg’s latest effort will find its way to U.S. screens early next year.  Ahead of the film’s North American debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, Focus World announced today that it has acquired U.S. distribution for Maps to the Stars with plans to release the film stateside in early 2015.  The film follows an archetypical Hollywood dynasty including a writer of self-help manuals (John Cusack), his wife (Olivia Williams) who manages the career of their 13-year-old son, and their daughter (Mia Wasikowska), who was recently released from a sanatorium where she was treated for criminal pyromania.  The plot also includes Havana (Julianne Moore), an actress who wants to remake a movie that starred her now-deceased mother.  The pic premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival, and while the overall reaction was mixed, Moore drew high praise for her performance and won the Best Actress award.
Many had pegged Moore as a contender in this year’s Oscar race, but if Focus World doesn’t stage a limited release in December to qualify for contention, that takes her out of the running.  That said, Focus World’s specific release strategy is unknown at the moment. 

Here’s the press release:
LOS ANGELES  September 1, 2014 – Focus World, the alternative distribution initiative owned and operated by Focus Features, has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Maps to the Stars, directed by David Cronenberg from a provocative original screenplay by Bruce Wagner. The contemporary tale exploring the demons of celebrity obsession in our society stars four-time Academy Award® nominee Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams, Evan Bird, Sarah Gadon, John Cusack, and Robert Pattinson.
Co-financed by Entertainment One (eOne) and Prospero Pictures, Maps to the Stars was produced by Prospero’s Martin Katz, SBS Productions’ Saïd Ben Saïd and Michel Merkt. Sentient Entertainment’s Renee Tab and eOne’s Benedict Carver executive-produced the film. Focus World plans to release the movie, for which Ms. Moore was named Best Actress at the Cannes International Film Festival, in early 2015. Maps to the Stars will screen this month at the Toronto International and New York Film Festivals.
Anjay Nagpal, SVP of Focus World, said, “David Cronenberg is one of independent cinema’s greatest auteurs. He and Bruce Wagner have crafted an unforgettable film showcasing standout performances from a top-notch cast. Focus World is thrilled to bring Maps to the Stars to U.S. audiences.”
Harold van Lier, President, eOne Films International, said, “We are delighted to partner with Focus World on Maps to the Stars, whose release model lends itself so perfectly to bringing this incredibly entertaining film to US audiences. The response received in Cannes, including Julianne Moore’s much-deserved prize, was phenomenal and David’s masterpiece is now eagerly anticipated for Toronto and New York.”
Martin Katz, President, Prospero Pictures, said, “We are extremely gratified by the passion, enthusiasm and expertise with which Focus World has embraced Maps to the Stars.”
In Maps to the Stars, Stafford Weiss (played by Mr. Cusack) is an L.A. psychotherapist and life coach who has made his fortune with self-help books promising happiness. His wife Cristina (Ms. Williams) is the overbearing manager of their 13-year-old son, Benjie (Mr. Bird), a TV star and recent drug rehab grad.  Their estranged daughter, Agatha (Ms. Wasikowska), has just been released from a psychiatric hospital and befriends limo driver and aspiring actor Jerome (Mr. Pattinson). Among Stafford’s celebrity clients is Havana Segrand (Ms. Moore), a fading star who dreams of reprising her late mother Clarice’s (Ms. Gadon) starring role. Ambitions, ghosts, death, and all manner of vices bedevil the cast of characters.
eOne Films International handles worldwide rights to Maps to the Stars, and will directly distribute the film in Canada, the U.K., and Australia and New Zealand.
WME negotiated on behalf of eOne with Mr. Nagpal and Gene Kang, VP of Business Affairs, representing Focus World.

Music Monday: Maroon 5 "Maps"

Updated video on Rob's adopted Elephants Sonje and Kithaka

With SONJE and MURERA now safely ensconced in the DSWT’s new relocation in the Kibwezi Forest at Umani Springs, it was time for their three friends to join them.  QUANZAZONGOLONI and LIMA LIMA made the journey in the early hours of the morning of the 27th June 2014 to this beautiful protected ecosystem abutting the Chyulu Hills National Park.

At 4.00am  ZONGOLONI was the first orphan to be led out of her night stockade and onto the elephant-moving truck by the Keepers.  With a little calmative she seemed completely unperturbed and walked into her travelling compartment without a sideways glance whilst gulping down her milk and watching as the compartment door was closed.  Next to join her was LIMA LIMA who was definitely more boisterous, but did not object to being loaded, so it was not long before she was also safely inside.  Then came the problem, QUANZA, who despite having months of practice to board the elephant-moving truck she never actually entered one of the compartments, refusing to get onboard despite the temptation of her much loved milk bottle.  So like her friend SONJEQUANZA had to be put to sleep and pulled onto the awaiting truck on a canvas stretcher before being revived once safely aboard.  Once this was done, with stressnil administered, QUANZA along with her two friends began their journey south to the Kibwezi Forest. 
Kibwezi Forest towards the Chyulu Hills  the Umani stockades
Chyulu Hills
The team of Keepers onboard the truck with QUANZALIMA LIMA and ZONGOLONI included Nairobi Head Keeper Edwin who was anxious to see the newly completed relocation unit.  The travelers made excellent time and arrived shortly before 9.00am at the Umani Springs stockades.  The truck parked next to the ramp and the doors were soon opened.  LIMA LIMA was climbing the gate trying to exit, while QUANZA and ZONGOLONI looked on bewildered.  There to meet them rumbling their welcomes was MURERA and SONJE who were visibly overjoyed and relieved to see their friends.  Angela Sheldrick and Robert Carr-Hartley, together with their sons Taru and Roan and their niece Emily, were already at Umani waiting to receive the new arrivals together with Head Keeper Philip Okonde and Keepers Amos and Simon, who had all travelled down to Umani a few days before to settle down at the new stockades with MURERA and SONJE.  
Lima Lima is first out of the truck  Murera and Sonje greet their friends
having a drink after the journey  The new Umani Springs orphans
Lima Lima in the mudbath
The three newcomers downed their milk bottles and headed straight to the dust bath, rolling around and dusting themselves before heading off to explore the surrounding forest.  LIMA LIMA who led the group was so excited by her new environment that her exuberance soon rubbed off on the others.  MURERA and SONJE trailed the little ones, delighted to have a very obvious leader in their midst with little LIMA LIMA taking charge, leading them down the road before zigzagging through the trees.  The orphans couldn’t get enough of the delicious browse they were surrounded by and later returned for a mudbath next to the stockades before setting off again in the opposite direction, LIMA LIMA making the decisions as if she had been there all her life.  This confidence was infectious and the others all appeared to embrace their new home, safe in the knowledge that their Keepers were always by their side.  MURERA was surprisingly the least confident of the five, probably because she feels more vulnerable with her compromised hind limb.  
the orphans enjoying the Umani mudbath   Lima Lima leads the orphans out into the forest
enjoying their new dustbath  out for a walk in the forest
the new Kibwezi herd
Edwin and the crew were amazed and suitably impressed by the new and third relocation unit and joked that the chosen Umani crew had found themselves in paradise!  Of course aside from Philip who will remain as Head Keeper of Umani, the DSWT’s other Keepers will rotate between the units throughout the coming  months and years.  
Walking in the forest with Amos  Nairobi Head Keeper Edwin escorts the orphans
milk time at the Umani stockades  The new Kibwezi Forest Orphans
Before sundown the herd of five filed into their stockades and seemed extremely comfortable with the soft earth,  dairy cubes, cut greens and Lucerne.  MURERA and SONJE are accommodated on one side of the stockades whilstLIMA LIMAQUANZA and ZONGOLONI are on the other side but together, whilst their keepers are all close at hand.  During darkness that night wild elephants were heard rumbling outside the stockade perimeter creating great interest, whilst LIMA LIMA got a fright from the crying bush babies frolicking in the trees above.  The orphans are gradually adapting to their new environment and as the days have passed they have become more and more comfortable in their new home.
returning to their new stockades for the night  Greens and milk time for all the orphans
the orphans in their new stockade  looking around their new stockades
orphans in the Umani stockades in the evening
Please help support our Orphans' Project however you can by fostering an elephant or making a donation through our website https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/is/donate_now.asp

View to Location map for KITHAKA (opens a new window)
Most Recent Keeper's Diary Entry: (view all the latest entries for KITHAKA)
7/31/2014 - The elephants were in such an excited mood this morning, it seemed like everyone was either play fighting or chasing someone around a bush. Kithaka and Lemoyian were play fighting together as Barsilinga and Ngasha took on Tundani whilst Nelion was being chased around a tree by Oltaiyoni. The games continued for quite some time until the five little babies arrived, but they too quickly joined in all the fun. It was so beautiful to see such happy elephants as the sun rose over the plains of Nairobi National Park.
Later on in the afternoon we received a phone call from Malindi that the community had found a lone male baby elephant with no sign of its mother or herd in the area. A rescue team from the nursery immediately left for Malindi.
On arrival the elephant calf was waiting at the airstrip; thin but walking and had no obvious wounds. The reason for his separation from his family was not established however, by the look of him, it seemed as though he had been on his own for quite some time. After the elephant was loaded in the plane the team were on their way back to the orphanage and arrived at around 8pm. The young baby settled in quickly, even taking a little bit of milk. Oltaiyoni was in the room next door and as a "matriarch in the making" she really settled the little baby down. The baby, named Arabuko, then fell asleep close to the bars separating her from Oltaiyoni. Soon after, Oltaiyoni did the same and the two slept comfortably alongside one another.
The Two Latest Photos of KITHAKA(view gallery of pictures for KITHAKA)
 Kithaka and Zoom Out in the forest with the others
Kithaka and Zoom
photo taken on 12/7/2011
Out in the forest with the others
photo taken on 12/3/2011


This tiny newborn male calf was orphaned during the morning of 20th November, 2011, apparently left by his mother when she and her herd were chased out of an area of human settlement near the Ruiri outpost in the lower Imenti Forest. The calf wandered into an adjacent village searching for company from whence KWS Rangers rescued him. Due to the terrain and dense forest conditions reuniting him with his herd would prove impossible, so we were contacted by the Senior Warden Mount Kenya with the news of a rescue. The calf was transported to the Lewa airfield so that he could be airlifted from there to the Nairobi Nursery, arriving in torrential rain, well after dark.
Flying over the tea plantations en route to Lewa from Nairobi  En route to Lewa from Nairobi

Lewa Downs  A tiny form on the airstrip.jpg

The tiny calf is given some milk before the flight to Nairobi.

This baby is tiny, no more than, and possibly even less, than a week old on arrival, the hind side of the ears soft and petal pink and the umbilicus newly detached. We hope that he has been able to ingest her first Colostrum milk to trigger his natural immune system. He has been named Kithaka the Meru word for forest. He is a real character, larger than life and full of attitude and, of course, is absolutely adored by the older orphans in the Nursery.

Wrapped up safely for the journey.  Safely in the plane.j

  Protective hands

Peter on the flight  Keepers Peter and Sammy.jpg

Safely at the nursery.  Kithaka being tucked up

Kithaka in his stable.jpg  Out in the forest with the others

Kithaka and Zoom


10 Times Robert Pattinson Charmed The Pants Off Of Us

Whether you remember him as a wizard or a hunky vampire, there’s no denying that Robert Pattinson is one incredibly charming man.
The British actor, who first caught our attention playing Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, has since become one of Hollywood’s hottest men ever since he landed the role of Edward Cullen in the Twilight series. But as he often appears shocked by the level of fame he’s achieved, what makes him so likeable is his self-deprecating sense of humour during interviews.
Having pushed himself away from the Twilight franchise, it’s safe to say that Pattinson has established himself as a serious actor. As he’s been cast in films directed by the likes of Werner Herzog and James Marsh, he’ll soon be coming to this year’s Toronto International Film Festival to present Maps To The Stars, his second collaboration with Canadian director David Cronenberg.
But while we wait anxiously for his arrival for the film’s premiere on Sept. 9, here are 10 times Robert Pattinson charmed the pants off of us.

When he told his Twihards to “Shut up!”:

Because he’s Edward Cullen, Robert can pretty much do anything and still make his admirers fall in love with him.  Case in point: when he told them to ‘shut up’, they just screamed even louder.

When he sang drunken karaoke with Katy Perry:

Now this is a party we’d like to get in on! Shot in 2008, Mr. Pattinson and Katy Perry joined together to sing the Boyz II men classic “I’ll Make Love To You” at a birthday party. The results are priceless, because they were both obviously very, very inebriated. At least they’re fun when they’re drunk!

When he did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge:

No one thought Rob would take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge because he has no Twitter, Facebook or Instagram accounts that we know of. But doing the world a good service, he enlisted his friend Zac Efron to upload the video of him doing it on his YouTube account. (Thank God for friends, right?)
What makes this video so endearing is how RPattz improvises the challenge as he has no bucket. By using a pot of ice instead, everything about this is hilarious as his friends have too much fun throwing red cups at him and spraying him with a hose.
(Also, thank you Rob for wearing a white T-Shirt.)

When he was a swimsuit model:

Before Twilight and Harry Potter, there was a time when Rob gave modelling a try. While he has since grown into his looks, this photo dates back to 2003 when the actor was just 17 years old. According to Snakkle, he was so young that he had to bring his mom as a chaperone to the shoot. AWW!

When he sings:

Awkwardness aside, Rob is also a talented musician. When asked if he’s ever considered having a professional music career, he told the LA Times“Music is my backup plan if acting fails. I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket.”
Having contributed songs for his films Twilight and How To Be, we think that’s a pretty realistic goal!

When he found out there was an app created to track his whereabouts:

Rob was both amused and terrified when Ellen DeGeneres told him that there was an app called “Where’s Rob” that tries to locate him wherever he goes. “I can smell a court case brewing,” he says while laughing.
So do we, Rob. So do we.

When he talked about his childhood dream of becoming a rapper:

Rob had childhood aspirations to be a rapper. And like anyone who wishes to make it big as a famous emcee, he even had his own alter ego. Calling himself ‘Big Tub’, he explained that it was because he was paranoid about his weight.
In the clip, the actor also revealed that he used to pull his zipper up and down to make scratching sounds because he didn’t have his own DJing set. And to make things even more awkward, he said his bandmates were called ‘The Tabbycats.’
How hardcore of you, Mr. Pattinson.

When he talked about how much he loves Taylor Lautner’s ASSets:

When he and his co-star Taylor Lautner were asked about why the Twilight franchise appeals to fans, Rob decided to opt out on giving a boring answer and cut to the chase. He complimented Taylor on how great his butt looks, understanding EXACTLY why every Twihard watches the movies.

When he did this rapid fire interview:

We learn a lot about RPattz in this interview.
What would he like to improve on? His dancing. The worst thing about being a vampire? Being too clean. And his favourite chick flick? Chicken Run.
Personally, we think he took the last question too literally.

And any time he made fun of Twilight:

While playing Edward Cullen has undoubtedly made him millions of dollars, Mr. Pattinson himself seems flabbergasted by the success of the Twilight franchise. Through his self-deprecating humor, he is absolutely hilarious when he makes fun of his vampire heartthrob status.  Charming, funny and totally awkward, this is why we love him.

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My Son Christopher accepts his Ice Bucket Challenge!!!

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