October 18, 2012

By: Chelsea Battle

LAWT Contributing Writer


You may remember Iyanla Vanzant years ago, bludgeoning tough love advice onto viewers on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Today the sagacious relationship expert continues to inspire others with her advice, which she liberally dishes on her own brand new show, Fix My Life.

Through this thought-provoking talk show Iyanla works to provide her guests with the governing principles that shape how individuals deal with relationships and healing after enduring hardship. Stressing the power of forgiveness, change, and faith in God, her teachings embrace philosophies that can readily be applied by people seeking wholeness, regardless of age, gender, or circumstances.

“We all have to learn to forgive” Iyanla says, “forgive ourselves; forgive other people. We also have to change our perspective on how to do things.”

Guests who have appeared on Fix my Life run the gamut, from troubled reality television star Evelyn Lozada, who experienced abuse in her brief marriage, to an otherwise ordinary woman who, after leaving her husband and children, turned to the show to beg their forgiveness. People from all walks of life write to Iyanla during times of crisis to ask for her help. Her approach involves relentlessly working with them to address the root of their problems, while also emphasizing ways to make holistic changes in their lives as they heal.

“How do people start to heal? They change their mind about what they’re doing,” Iyanla offers. “When they’re doing something that doesn’t work, when they’re doing something that’s bringing them pain, they gotta change what they’re doing. And many of us don’t know how to change or don’t know what to do instead.”

No stranger to adversity in her own life, Iyanla shares her trials and tribulations with the world, living life like an open book, literally. As an accomplished writer for 28 years, Iyanla has written over 14 books. Her last novel, New York Times bestseller Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re going Through, is an anecdotal narrative that focuses on a vivid spectrum of personal challenges and how she learned to cope with them.

Her career as a life coach has brought Iyanla momentous success, and she has touched millions of lives with her profound wisdom. Where some might attribute her success to Oprah Winfrey’s national exposure, Iyanla credits an even higher source: God.

“I think we all have a purpose in life,” says Iyanla. “My purpose is to advance God’s law… I don’t see it [my success] as major because I have a series on Oprah’s network. I see it as major because I’m on my purpose: doing what I love out loud.”

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

 October 11, 2012

The Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) has announced its call for submissions. The 21st annual PAFF will be held on February 7-18, 2013 in Los Angeles. Currently, PAFF officials are accepting submissions of independent features, shorts, narratives and documentary films made by or about people of African descent, though it is not a requirement that filmmakers are of African descent, they said.

“Films can be of any genre -- drama, comedy, horror, adventure, animation, romance, science fiction, experimental, etc.,” officials said.

“[They] should preferably depict positive and realistic images. The film festival will accept submissions of works in progress; however, the final version of the film must be completed no later than January 5, 2013…”

Over the years, PAFF has showcased films from all parts of the world, representing such countries as Angola, Austria, England, Bermuda, Canada, Egypt, Ethiopia, Brazil, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, Nigeria, and the United States.

“Over the years, the filmmakers from around the world have become more sophisticated in telling their stories,” says Asantewa Olatunji, the director of programming for PAFF.

Last year, more than 40,000 folks attended the festival, and were the first to see a string of highly-anticipated films, including Screen Gems’  “Think Like a Man,” based on the New York Times best-selling book by radio host/comic Steve Harvey. Directed by Tim Story and written by Keith Merryman and David A. Newman, the romantic comedy has grossed nearly 100 million dollars in its theatrical run, making it one of the highest grossing films with a predominantly African American cast.

“This is certainly proof that Black audiences will respond to good stories and positive depictions of ourselves on the big screen,” added Olatunji.

The PAFF competition categories are: Best Narrative Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary, Best Director -- First Feature, plus, Audience Favorite Awards for Narrative Feature and Favorite Documentary. Films in competition must be copyrighted no earlier than 2012. With the exception of Audience Favorite Awards, all films are judged by industry professionals, selected by PAFF. In addition to competition awards, other programming and festival special prizes will be awarded.

For information about the festival, submission procedures, fees and registration, visit www.paff.org or call 310. 337-4737. Submissions will be accepted from July 2, 2012 through October 15, 2012. Late submissions will be accepted until November 21, 2012 and December 1, 2012 for international entries. Official selection announcements will be made beginning December 15, 2012.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

October 11, 2012

LAWT Wire Service


The Grammy Foundation is currently accepting applications for its 2012 Grammy Camp, Grammy Camp Jazz Session and Grammy Signature Schools programs for high school music programs. These programs are part of the Foundation's GRAMMY in the Schools® offerings and are supported in part by Best Buy and Converse.

"Grammy Camp and Grammy Camp  Jazz Session allow high school students to experience firsthand what it feels like to have a career in the music industry, and our GRAMMY Signature Schools program provides generous financial resources to high schools for the benefit of their music programs," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation.

"These Grammy in the Schools initiatives are helping to inspire and educate the next generation of music makers."

Students and schools interested in participating in the 2013 Grammy Camp — Jazz Session and Grammy Signature Schools programs can apply at www.grammyintheschools.com. Completed applications are due Oct. 22 for both programs. Oct. 22 is also the early decision deadline for students interested in attending the 9th annual Grammy Camp to be held in summer 2013. Early decision applicants will receive a 10 percent tuition discount if selected to attend GRAMMY Camp. They receive this discount whether they are selected as part of the early decision process or drawn from the regular applicant pool. Applicants not selected via early decision will be reconsidered with the final pool of applications. The final Grammy Camp application deadline is March 31, 2013. In the past, approximately 75 percent of Grammy Camp participants who have applied for financial aid received assistance.

The Grammy Foundation is also pleased to announce that recordings from the jazz program can now be purchased on iTunes, Amazon.com and other online music outlets. Albums released from 2007–2012 are now available for download. These projects were recorded at the world-famous Capitol Recording Studios (EMI Music) in Hollywood, Calif., by Grammy-winning engineers Manny Marroquin and Al Schmitt, and mastered by GRAMMY winner Bernie Grundman.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

October 11, 2012

LAWT Wire Service


OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced an exclusive partnership with Tyler Perry, the award winning actor, director, screenwriter, playwright and producer, to become his singular destination for all new television series and projects, including two new scripted series for the network to premiere in mid 2013. These will be the first original scripted series for OWN and Perry will executive produce, write and direct both series.

The announcement comes as the network closed its third consecutive quarter of year-over-year, double-digit ratings gains across primetime and total day in the key women 25-54 demo (+63percent and +70 percent respectively) and saw triple-digit ratings growth in September.

OWN network officials have said that they felt targeting an underserved African-American audience may be the best opportunity for the network to sustain growth. OWN has produced ratings winners with “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” and interview specials with artist Rihanna.

Perry’s popular television series “Tyler Perry's House of Payne” “Meet The Browns” and “For Better Or Worse” have been massive hits with record-breaking ratings. Perry had his first foray into television in 2007 with the hit series “House of Payne,” which premiered as cable’s biggest comedy debut ever. The series remained basic cable’s top-rated sitcom only until the premiere of Perry’s second series “Meet The Browns.”

“I have been looking forward to the day when we would be in the position to enter the world of scripted television. That day has come,” said Oprah Winfrey, CEO, OWN. “We are all energized by the opportunity to collaborate with Tyler who has a proven track record for producing highly successful cable series. He has an incredible ability to illuminate life stories and characters in his unique voice and inspires and encourages people all over the world.”

“It’s a dream realized to partner with Oprah and bring scripted programming to OWN,” stated Perry. “She has accomplished so much with the network and I’m excited to work with her to be a part of its continued growth.”

“Bringing Tyler Perry exclusively to OWN is a major coup. Today’s announcement demonstrates the power of the Oprah brand to attract some of the biggest names in television and film to OWN,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications. “OWN’s growth over the past nine months has been nothing short of phenomenal and, with the continued support of our advertising and affiliate Partners, this bold move into scripted entertainment positions OWN to continue that momentum going forward.”

OWN’s flagship series “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” featuring Winfrey’s interviews with top news-making celebrities, has given the network its highest ratings ever, hitting No. 1 in its time period in all of cable multiple times. The fall premiere of the OWN original primetime series “Iyanla: Fix My Life” featuring life coach Iyanla Vanzant garnered the network’s highest rated series debut in network history and the return of the popular family docu-series “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” hit an all-time series high. In addition, the thought-provoking documentary series “Our America with Lisa Ling” recently wrapped its summer season posting triple-digit gains versus year ago numbers.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

October 11, 2012



This week should bring an opportunity to further your education, don’t pass it up. Pay special attention to details at work. A friend needs your support. Find joy in giving it. Soul Affirmation: All things work together for good.



Your leadership skills are shining this week, so get out there and glimmer with good vibrations. Others are looking to you for guidance and as a path to follow. Let your journey through the week provide a good model. Soul Affirmation: I let worry fly away.



You are brilliant this week as you gather materials and resources together for an important project. There’s a good probability for wonderful news late in the afternoon. Ride the vibes and be gentle with your own feelings. Soul Affirmation: There are plenty of fish in the sea waiting for me.



A date or meeting that is unexpectedly cancelled may make someone very unhappy. Recognize that all things work for good, and that a better solution is being provided in the space between what you think you want and what you are getting. Soul Affirmation: This week silence speaks loudest and truest.



Serenity is yours as you realize you can get what you need. It’s coming and you deserve it! Take a few quiet moments this week to listen to your inner voice. It will give you a powerful hint about what activities you should be pursuing right now. Soul Affirmation: I let positive emotions carry me through the week.



In all of the hustle and bustle of the week this week, take some time to observe the Now. There’s a great deal to be thankful for! A great idea could come to you when you are out with friends. Soul Affirmation: I celebrate with those around me.



Relax the grip you have on your attitudes this week, and just go with the flow. Ease up in full knowledge that goodness is being perfectly fulfilled. Let go of any feelings of insecurity or loss and bless the perfect moment. Soul Affirmation: I quiet all confusion



Exhilaration is high and your mental abilities are amazing. Use your intuition to brainstorm your way to a highly creative idea that could change the way you make your living. Soul Affirmation: I give thanks for the chance to give.



What you say and what you do are in harmony this week. The importance of your idea(s) comes through very clearly to others. They can see that you walk what you talk. Communicate your ideas through your values. Soul Affirmation: I give thanks for the goodness in people.



If you feel as if the vibes this week are mixed at best, make up your mind to only receive the positive ones. Tune the transmitter in your soul to life and give your spiritual a workout. You are in charge of who you are. Soul Affirmation: I see myself as a finisher rather than a starter this week.



A benefit arrives, and there’s good reason to celebrate. Claim your blessing and do the happy dance! Loving, supportive friends surround you, and family members are well behaved. Enjoy! Soul Affirmation: I speak my mind knowing that truth is my best defense this week.



Look forward to some pleasant news. There is every possibility for a renewed love affair or a refreshing new romantic interest. Free yourself from the past and make a fresh start. Soul Affirmation: I see myself as a finisher rather than a starter this week.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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