Posts tagged with "JJ Abrams"

Rita Azar for use by 360 Magazine

Cinejoy

Cinejoy, featuring the artists & films of Cinequest, occurs April 1-17 virtually and brings a thrilling lineup of live events, community gatherings, artist conversations and over 135 films and television (85 World and U.S. Premieres). Live Spotlight Events include the Gemma Arterton Maverick Spirit Conversation Highlight.

Maverick Spirit Award Recipients

Cinequest’s highest award, the Cinequest Maverick Spirit Award, honors those who stand apart from the crowd, creating and innovating from a place of personal yet global vision. Past recipients include Harrison Ford, Neil Gaiman, Nicolas Cage, J.J. Abrams, Alec Baldwin, Rosario Dawson, Michael Keaton, Sir Ben Kingsley, Spike Lee, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sir Ian McKellen, Elle Fanning and Sam Neil.

This year’s recipient is Gemma Arterton! Ms. Arterton (Quantum of Solace, Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Escape, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Byzantium, The Girl with All the Gifts, Clash of the Titans) will receive the award during a special moderated conversation prior to the screening of her remarkable new movie occurring during the Spotlight Event on Sunday, April 10, at 5:30 PM PT 

About Cinequest 

Cinequest fuses innovation with the arts to empower great creations and to connect audiences, youth, artists, and innovators with these creations and with each other—forging community, joy, and our future. Set in Silicon Valley, Cinequest’s uniqueness, impact and legacy result from applying this powerful integration of creativity and technology to democratize opportunity and to transform lives. Cinequest does this through the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival, Cinejoy Virtual Festival, Maverick Studio, and Picture The Possibilities global youth programs.

RCA RECORDS × LOUD ROBOT — NNENA'S "HEART MOAN" from Sarah Weinstein Dennison at RCA Records for use by 360 Magazine

RCA RECORDS × LOUD ROBOT — NNENA’S “HEART MOAN”

NEW SINGLE & LIVE VIDEO “HEART MOAN” OUT NOW FROM NNENA’S FORTHCOMING DEBUT EP BIPOLAR AF OUT JUNE 25TH VIA LOUD ROBOT/RCA RECORDS

On June 11, 2021, RCA Records announced a brand-new partnership and label deal with Loud Robot, the record label from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot to release burgeoning new musical talent.

To kick off this partnership, Nnena, the first musical signing to Loud Robot, released a brand-new track and video for “Heart Moan,” the second track revealed from her forthcoming debut EP BIPOLAR AF, which is set for release on June 25th via Loud Robot/RCA Records. You can watch a live performance of “Heart Moan” HERE. You can pre-order BIPOLAR AF HERE.

Other new artist signings to Loud Robot/RCA Records will be announced soon.

Nnena has scripted and produced comedic bite-sized sketches to post as companion pieces for each track from her forthcoming EP. Check out the one for “Heart Moan” HERE and for the previously released track “Rewind” HERE. Last month, Nnena released a hilarious visualizer and stunning live performance video for lead track “Rewind” from her EP.

An incredible writer, lyricist, rapper and vocalist, bursting with effusive energy and a massive personality, the Cleveland native, born Nnena Adigwe to Nigerian parents, credits some of her robust, descriptive storytelling impulses to her past screenwriting experience. A former basketball player, Nnena began writing comedic sketches during college. That soon led to working on more full-fledged projects—the kinds of works that needed sound tracking. Rather than pay licensing fees, she tried her hand at making her own music.

Nnena has already received critical praise from Teen VogueFlood, BBC 1’s Annie Mac, Apple Music’s Ebro, and has been a sought-after songwriter for artists such as Beyoncé, Rihanna and Normani and has recently performed as the opening act for rising star Boogie, Mayorkun and Trinidad James.

She explains making music for her is about telling stories that simultaneously define us and connect us to others. “I want my music to elicit the truth and make the listener feel comfortable. I want people not to feel alone and I never want my music to leave anyone out.”

In the music and visuals that she creates, she shares stories, scenarios, debacles and personal experiences with a warmth, humor and finesse that almost make you forget how hard life can be: “I’ll make the worst situations funny.”

Nnena also finds inspiration for her music from the female experience: “My music is what other females wish they could say out loud, but I do it for them in a song.” 

Her music reflects her eclectic influences ranging from Otis Redding to Millie Jackson, from Queen Latifah to Miriam Makeba to Kendrick Lamar and especially “Lauryn Hill, she molded me the most,” along with other neo-soul genre artists Musiq Soulchild and Jill Scott, as well as Drake, J. Cole and Tiwa Savage.

About Bad Robot:

Bad Robot was formed by filmmaker J.J. Abrams in 2001. The company has produced television series such as Alias, Lost, Fringe, Person of Interest, Castle Rock, Westworld, Lovecraft Country and Little Voice; feature films such as SUPER 8, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS and STAR WARS: RISE OF SKYWALKER, the STAR TREK, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE and CLOVERFIELD franchises; and interactive content including the mobile app Action Movie FX. Bad Robot’s first foray into publishing, S., a novel conceived by Abrams and written by Doug Dorst, was a New York Times Best Seller. In 2018, the company launched Loud Robot, an artist-friendly independent music label, and Bad Robot Games, a new entity dedicated to developing large and indie-scale original games for mobile, PC and console. Bad Robot is based in Santa Monica.

About RCA Records:

Since its inception in 1900, RCA Records, the second oldest label in American history, has been home to some of the most iconic music artists of all-time celebrating music across all genres. The label has a rich, storied history, which is earmarked by artists continually pushing their artistic boundaries and shaping the cultural landscape.

The label is the historical home of musical legends Elvis Presley, David Bowie, Nina Simone, Sam Cooke and Hall and Oates and is currently home to internationally renowned and critically acclaimed artists including H.E.R., Childish Gambino, P!NK, Justin Timberlake, Foo Fighters, Chris Brown, Khalid, SZA, A$AP Rocky, Alicia Keys, Kings Of Leon, Britney Spears, Pentatonix, Christina Aguilera, Kesha, D’Angelo, Dave Matthews Band, Jazmine Sullivan, Miguel, Kirk Franklin, Buddy Guy, Mark Ronson, Bryson Tiller, Cam, Cage The Elephant, Bleachers, A$AP Ferg, Tate McRae, Kygo, BROCKHAMPTON, Kevin Abstract, Becky G., Martin Garrix, Latto, Lucky Daye, Fousheé and Flo Milli, among others.

RCA Records is a Division of Sony Music Entertainment. The label has key partnerships with Bystorm Entertainment, Keep Cool, Loud Robot, Polo Grounds Music, Six Course Music Group and more.

Challenger: The Final Flight

By Cassandra Yany

On Wednesday, Netflix released “Challenger: The Final Flight,” a four-episode docuseries about the tragic explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

The doc was directed by Daniel Junge and Steven Leckart, and executive produced by JJ Abrams and Glenn Zipper. It provides a complete look at the events leading up to the takeoff and includes interviews with family members of the seven astronauts who died in the explosion.

According to CNN, the series uses archival footage and home videos, along with interviews from officials and crew members to shed light on the poor decision-making and systemic failures that led up to the disaster, as well as the aftermath that followed.

Challenger took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral on January 28, 1986. Just 73 seconds after it launched, the shuttle began breaking apart, due to malfunctioning O-rings in the rocket boosters, which hardened as the temperature decreased. NASA had reportedly known about this damaged hardware for months prior, according to Vanity Fair.

The purpose of mission STS-51-L was to deploy a satellite to study the approaching Halley’s Comet, but it had been delayed multiple times because of technical difficulties.

The crew was one of NASA’s most diverse to date, as reported by the New York Post. One of the astronauts was a teacher, so school children across the country watched in class as the shuttle went down, engulfed by a huge, ominous cloud of smoke. The explosion devastated the nation, especially all of the young children who had watched it live.

Nearly thirty-five years later, we remember the passengers who lost their lives on that dreadful day:

Christa McAuliffe

Christa McAuliffe was a teacher at Concord High School in New Hampshire who learned of the Teacher in Space Project— NASA’s plan to fly an educator into space. NASA had hoped that this would help increase public interest in the space shuttle program. 

Along with 11,000 others, McAuliffe applied in 1984 to be the first teacher to communicate with students from space. She was chosen as one of two finalists from New Hampshire, then was selected to be part of the STS-51-L crew by a Review Panel in Washington, D.C.

McAuliffe took a year off from teaching to train for the space shuttle mission. While in orbit, she was planning to conduct experiments in chromatography, hydroponics, magnetism and Newton’s laws. She also would have taught two 15-minute classes— one providing a tour of the spacecraft, the other about the benefits of space travel— which would have been broadcasted to students on closed-circuit TV. 

The nationwide excitement of having McAuliffe in space was a significant reason why the explosion had such a lasting impact on the country, and was especially upsetting for young students who watched the takeoff or extensive coverage in class. 

Gregory Jarvis

Gregory Jarvis was an engineer for Hughes Aircraft who served as Payload Specialist 2 on Challenger. In 1984, he was one of two employees from the company that were selected for the Space Shuttle program. 

Jarvis was originally supposed to make his shuttle flight in April 1985, but was rescheduled to early January 1986, then rescheduled again, landing him a spot on the STS-51-L crew. From space, he planned to conduct experiments on the effects of weightlessness on fluids. 

Dick Scobee

Dick Scobee earned his pilot wings in 1966 and served as a combat aviator in the Vietnam War, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.

After the war, Scobee graduated from the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School and became an Air Force test pilot. He was the commander on Challenger and died a lieutenant colonel.

Judith Resnik

After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, Judith Resnik worked as a design engineer in missile and radar projects at RCA (Radio Corporation of America). There, she performed circuit design for the missile and surface radar division. She later developed electronics and software for NASA’s sounding rocket and telemetry systems programs. 

Resnik qualified as a professional aircraft pilot in 1977 and was recruited into the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1978. She was one of six women selected for the program out of 8,000 applicants. At NASA, and piloted the Northrop T-38 Talon, trained intensely, conducted research, and developed different systems and software. 

Resnik served as a mission specialist on the maiden voyage of Discovery in 1984 for her first space flight from August to September. During this flight, she operated a shuttle’s robotic arm (which she created), and deployed and conducted experiments on a solar array wing to determine if there was a way to generate additional electric power during missions. She was the second American woman in space and the first Jewish woman in space. 

Resnik was a mission specialist on Challenger. After the explosion, further examination of the cockpit shows that her Personal Egress Air Pack was activated, indicating that she may have been alive after the cockpit separated from the vehicle to activate it. Her body was the first to be recovered from the crash by Navy divers. 

Ellison Onizuka

Ellison Onizuka served as a flight test engineer and test pilot for the U.S. Air Force in the early 1970s. After attending the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School from 1974 to 1975, he became a squadron flight test engineer there and worked as a manager for engineering support in the training resources division. 

In 1978, Onizuka was selected for the astronaut program and later worked in the experimentation team, orbiter test team, and launch support screw for the STS-1 and STS-2. At NASA he also worked on the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory test and revision software team. 

Onizzuka’s first space mission was one year before the Challenger explosion, on the mission STS-51-C on the shuttle Discovery. This was the first space shuttle mission for the Department of Defense, and he became the first Asian American to reach space. 

Onizuka was a mission specialist aboard Challenger. Similar to Resnik, it is speculated that he could have been alive when the cockpit separated from the vehicle because his Personal Egress Air Pack was also activated. When he died, he held the position of lieutenant colonel, but was later promoted to the rank of colonel. 

Ronald McNair

Ronald McNair received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976 and became nationally recognized for his work in laser physics. After graduation, he worked as a staff physicist at the Hugh Research Lab in Malibu, CA. 

McNair was one of the ten thousand applicants to be selected in 1978 for the NASA astronaut program. He became the second African American astronaut in 1984 when he flew as a mission specialist for STS-41-B on Challenger from Feb. 3-11. 

McNair later served as a mission specialist for STS-51-L. During this flight, he had planned to record the saxophone solo for a song he had worked on with composer Jean-Michel Jarre for his upcoming album Rendez-Vous. This would have been the first original piece of music to be recorded in space. 

McNair was also supposed to participate in Jarre’s Rendez-Vous Houston concert through a live feed from Challenger. To honor McNair, Jarre dedicated the last song on the album to him and subtitled it “Ron’s Piece.”

Michael J. Smith

Michael J. Smith served in the Vietnam War, then attended U.S. naval Test Pilot School. After graduation, he was assigned to the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland, where he worked on the A-6E TRAM and Cruise missile guidance systems. In 1976, later returned to NTPS for 18 months as an instructor. 

Smith was selected for the astronaut program in May 1980, in which he served as a commander in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory, the Deputy Chief of Aircraft Operations, the Technical Assistant to the Director, and the Flights Operations Directorate. 

Smith was the pilot for Challenger, and was set to pilot another mission the following fall. His voice was the last heard on the flight deck tape recorder with his final words being “Uh oh.”

All seven passengers were awarded with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 2004.

Letters Live

Star-studded British show announces the first wave of talent for its American debut.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Jarvis Cocker, James Corden, Minnie Driver, Stephen Fry, Mark Hamill, Anjelica Huston, Catherine Keener, Shirley Manson, Ian McShane, and Annabelle Wallis all confirmed for ‘LETTERS LIVE’ line-up in its US premiere with more guests to be announced.

LETTERS LIVE, in partnership with NET-A-PORTER and MR PORTER, is delighted to announce the first wave of performers for its first ever public performance in the United States on February 26th 2018, at the historic Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, from 8pm PST.

LETTERS LIVE celebrates the enduring power of literary correspondence by inviting brilliant entertainers to perform remarkable and unforgettable letters to a live audience.

“Hear the best letters in the world read by the best voices” – The Observer

Past LETTERS LIVE shows have included letters written by the likes of David Bowie, Mohandas Gandhi, Maya Angelou, Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, Kurt Vonnegut, Charlotte Bronte, Tom Hanks, Katherine Hepburn, Richard Burton, Patti Smith, Abraham Lincoln, James Baldwin, and Che Guevara, performed by an array of talent including Benedict Cumberbatch, Gillian Anderson, Ian McKellen, Kylie Minogue, Russell Brand, Thandie Newton, Riz Ahmed, Juliet Stevenson, LeVar Burton, Tom Hiddleston, Sally Hawkins, JJ Abrams, Noma Dumezweni, Oscar Isaac, Jude Law, Nick Cave and Sir Ben Kingsley.

To view a teaser video for the 26 February, click here.

As LETTERS LIVE producer and performer Benedict Cumberbatch writes “Letters Live makes us pause and imagine the lives behind the letters read and the circumstances of their origin. The relationship between the audience, reader and writer on a Letters Live night helps deepen our understanding of these inspiring artefacts of the human condition. They are windows into the love, beauty, pain, and humor of their creators and recipients. It’s a privilege to read this most ancient form of communication to a live audience.”

The February 26th performance of LETTERS LIVE in Los Angeles will be presented in partnership with NET-A-PORTER and MR PORTER. The event will be held in the historic Theatre at Ace Hotel in the downtown neighborhood of Los Angeles, from 8pm – 9:30pm PST.

Tickets for the 26 February LETTERS LIVE performance are available for purchase here.

Ticket prices range from $50 to $200 with all the profits from ticket sales being donated to the two partner charities for the night, 826LA, and Women for Women International.

About LETTERS LIVE

LETTERS LIVE first took place in December 2013 at the Tabernacle in London and quickly established itself as a powerful and dynamic event format that attracted outstanding talents to performing remarkable letters in front of a live audience.

Inspired by Shaun Usher’s international best-selling Letters of Note series and Simon Garfield’s To the Letter, LETTERS LIVE is a live celebration of the enduring power of literary correspondence. Each show always features a completely different array of great performers, reading remarkable letters written over the centuries and from around the world. One of the joys of Letters Live is that one never knows who is going to take to the stage or what letter they are going to bring alive.

The independent publishing house Canongate, who created and developed LETTERS LIVE, subsequently partnered with the film and television production company SunnyMarch to build Letters Live into an even more far-reaching and ambitious project. Their shared vision is to harness the power of letters through curated events of exceptional quality and to develop a multi-media platform that delivers the most memorable letters to people all around the world.

As well as celebrating the pain, joy, wisdom and humour expressed in letters, LETTERS LIVE has from the outset been committed to promoting literacy and to fund-raising for literacy charities. This remains an important part of its activities both in the UK and abroad.

About 826LA

826LA is a non-profit organization with centers in Echo Park and Mar Vista, a Writers’ Room at

Manual Arts High School in South LA, and relationships with Los Angeles public schools. 826LA’s mission is to support students ages six to eighteen with their creative and expository writing skills, and to help teachers inspire their students to write. Since 2005, 826LA has served 65,000+ students. 826LA’s free programs target economically disadvantaged students.

About Women for Women International


With over twenty brutal armed conflicts across the globe and unprecedented levels of violence against women, there’s never been a greater need to support women survivors of war.
Through Women for Women International’s 12-month programme, women learn about their rights, as well as key life, vocational and business skills to access livelihoods and break free from poverty.
Since 1993, Women for Women International has supported over 462,000 women in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kosovo, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Sudan. They also engage men in their work, to break down prejudices and practices which prevent women from reaching their full potential. To find out more visit: www.womenforwomen.org.uk