Posts tagged with "us"

Gorgon City – Burning

Gorgon City, a UK and Chicago-based DJ duo of Kye Gibbon and Matt Robson Scott, released a brand new video for their song “Burning,” which features EVAN GIIA.

The release of this video follows their recent drop of the Terrace Dub remixed version of the song.

You can see the video by clicking right here.

Shot in Wyoming and directed by Eric Maldin, two young women find love in Laramie. They share an attraction to each other, but they only show it in public with slight gestures, like pinky touches.

A heart made of flames finally represents burning love and desire, allowing the two to reconcile and embrace.

The Terrace Dub Remix is a rework of the song with more driving energy, hypnotizing filters, slow beautiful builds and solid sharp drops while still featuring EVAN GIIA’s vocals.

You can hear the Terrace Dub Remix of “Burning” by clicking right here.

Gorgon City has amassed more than 1.4 billion global streams and 9 million singles sold throughout their career. They’ve also topped international radio station charts and landed the No. 1 spot on US Dance Radio.

To learn more about Gorgon City, you can click right here. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Netflix – Cuties

By Cassandra Yany

One of Netflix’s newest films, Cuties, has garnered much attention and backlash since its Sep. 9 release on the streaming platform. The coming-of-age film depicts a young girl as she tries to navigate her life as a pre-teen growing up in a Muslim family living in Paris.

Many critics have spoken out against the film, which currently holds the no. 7 spot in Netflix’s ‘Top 10,’ for its depiction of 11-year-old girls dancing and behaving in an indecent manner. According to the New York Times, the movie was first deemed controversial in the U.S. in August when Netflix released the promotional artwork. The original marketing for the film displayed an image of four young girls in skimpy dance costumes posing provocatively.

This, along with the trailer, prompted opposers to start petitions online and call for the removal of the film from Netflix’s catalog. Netflix apologized and changed the artwork for the film to a more innocent photo of the same four characters walking down the street with shopping bags, donning bras and underwear over their clothes.

Last week’s release of the film has sparked conversation once again amongst parents, politicians and others, causing #CancelNetflix to trend on Twitter. Lina Nealon, the Director of Corporate and Strategic Initiatives at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has spoken out against the film saying “While we commend Director Maïmouna Doucouré for exposing the very real threats to young girls having unfettered access to social media and the internet, we cannot condone the hypersexualization and exploitation of the young actresses themselves in order to make her point.” She called for Netflix to cut the “sexually-exploitive” scenes from the film, or remove the film from the platform altogether.

On Friday, Hawaii Rep. Tulse Gabbard tweeted, “@Netflix child porn ‘Cuties’ will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking are children… Netflix you are now complicit.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz penned a letter to Attorney General William P. Barr Friday calling for the Department of Justice to start an investigation into the production and distribution of the film to “determine whether Netflix, any of its executives, or anyone involved in the making of ‘Cuties’ violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography.”

Cruz wrote that “the film routinely fetishizes and sexualizes these pre-adolescent girls as they perform dances simulating sexual conduct in revealing clothing, including at least one scene with partial nudity” falsely claiming that there’s a scene exposing a “minor’s bare breast.” The Associated Press reported that one of Cruz’s representatives, Lauren Aronson, said that the senator has not seen the film.

According to the Washington Times, some critics are even calling on the Obama’s— who have a production deal with Netflix— to take action against the film. Deadline stated that “The reality appears to have been lost in the storm, and the truth is very few of the people reacting so strongly will have actually seen the film.”

Netflix told USA TODAY “‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. It’s an award winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up— and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”

Director Maïmouna Doucouré defends the film, saying that it works to shed light on these issues so they can be fixed. Cuties first premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23, where it won the Directing Jury Award for the dramatic film category. According to the New York Times, the movie did not stir up much conversation in France after its theatrical release (as Mignnonnes in French) in August.

Deadline reports that Doucouré did not see the promotional material prior to when it was circulated on the internet. She said that she received death threats as the outrage grew over these images. She told the news site that the film is not apologetic about the hypersexualization of children, but instead is her “…personal story as well as the story of many children who have to navigate between a liberal western culture and a conservative culture at home.”

Cuties was Doucouré’s feature directorial debut. Similar to the film’s main character, Amy, Doucouré is of Senegalese descent and grew up in a Muslim culture in Paris. In an interview at Sundance, she said she first had the idea for the movie after attending a neighborhood gathering in Paris where she saw a group of 11-year-old girls doing a stage performance of a “sensual” dance. She was shocked to see girls that age dance like that in short clothing. “We can’t continue to close our eyes about that,” she told the interviewer.

Doucouré researched for a year and a half, meeting with hundreds of pre-teens who told her their stories. She learned about their ideas of femininity, and how their self image is affected by the emphasis of social media in today’s society. According to IndieWire, the young actresses’ parents were on board with the project to spread awareness of the issue, and there was a psychologist working with the girls throughout filming who is still helping them throughout the release process.

The film is centered around Amy, an 11-year-old girl who has recently moved to a housing development in a poor suburb of Paris with her Senegalese, observant Muslim family. She looks out for her brothers, takes care of responsibilities around the house, and is in the process of being taught how to ‘be a woman’ by  her aunt.

One day after prayer, Amy walks by the laundry room and sees a girl her age dancing to music playing from her phone. In a subsequent scene, Amy is seen trying to straighten her hair with a clothing iron, burning part of it off as a result. 

Amy learns that her father, who is still in Senegal, has taken a second wife and will be coming to Paris soon to have the wedding. Her mother, Mariam, tries to hide her reaction to the news, but Amy sees her grow upset and take her frustrations out on herself. This is where Amy’s behavior begins to shift; she starts to reject her culture and identity, and instead tries to conform to fit in with the other girls at school. 

At school, Amy is teased for her clothes and lack of fashion sense, so she begins to wear her younger brother’s t-shirt to match the crop tops that her classmates wear. After seeing a group of girls her age dancing after school, Amy steals her cousin’s iPhone to learn how to dance, herself. She comes across their social media accounts and begins taking selfies, imitating what she sees on their profiles. 

Amy finds herself a spot in the girls’ friend group and dance troupe, and as a result, begins to neglect her responsibilities at home. Amy starts to show more self expression, wearing her hair natural rather than pulling it back. She also begins to explore the internet more, finding videos of almost-naked women dancing rather suggestively and moving their bodies in ways that an 11-year-old probably shouldn’t be watching. 

Taking what she found online, Amy practices dancing with her friends and teaches them how to twerk. This is where the movie begins to make viewers slightly uneasy. It was jarring to see these young, innocent girls tainted by this inappropriate content and doing dance moves that they didn’t understand the implications of. It appears that this was the intention of director Doucouré, as she stated in an interview with Netflix that the film is “…a mirror of today’s society; a mirror sometimes difficult to look into and accept but still so true.”

Some of the scenes, frankly, are very disturbing to watch. These include the girls dancing provocatively for two older male workers at a laser tag facility so that they wouldn’t get in trouble for sneaking in, as well as Amy beginning to undress for her cousin once he found she had stolen his iPhone in an attempt to smooth over the situation. Perhaps the most disturbing scene is when Amy takes a picture of her genitals to post on her social media profile so that people at school would think she’s mature. While there was no nudity shown in this scene, the implied action was horrifying to watch. 

At the end of the film, Amy performs with her dance troupe at a local competition. Dressed in revealing outfits, they dance immodestly in front of a crowd of people who quickly seem unsettled. (This is the scene from which the original promotional photos were taken.) Toward the end of the song, Amy freezes as she begins to think about her mom, then runs off the stage crying. She goes home where she asks her mom not to attend her father’s wedding. Her mom continues to get ready for the event, but tells Amy that she doesn’t have to go.

Instead of going to the wedding, Amy steps outside and begins jumping rope. This scene depicts a mixture of her two identities: she is wearing jeans and a crop top with her hair down, but is surrounded by people of her culture dressed in traditional garments. After suppressing her family’s background for a majority of the movie, Amy is finally able to find the balance where her multiple cultures intersect in order to be her honest self. 

After watching Cuties, it is evident that it is not meant to promote this behavior among young girls, but instead provide commentary on what is happening today and warn the adults who see the movie. The harsh reality is that more pre-adolescents are exposed to this type of content than we think. Any child who has access to a smart device and social platforms have the potential to see a video not meant for them. Take TikTok for example: racy dances to Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion’s “WAP,” as well as a recent trend where women make “thirst traps” to Beyoncé’s “Rocket” are some of the most popular videos on the app right now. Young TikTok users can easily see creators on their For You Page enjoying themselves while engaging in these trends, causing the young viewer to want to do the same.

When speaking to Deadline, Doucouré said, “What happens is young girls see images of women being objectified, and the more the woman becomes an object, the more followers and like she has— they see that as a role model and try to imitate these women, but they’re not old enough to know what they’re doing.” In a separate interview, she posed the question, “Isn’t the objectification of a woman’s body that we often see in our Western culture not another kind of oppression?”

Overall, Cuties shows the dangers of uncensored media for young children and displays how impressionable they can be. It also shows the journey of Amy’s self-discovery and learning how to blend her multiple cultures in order to shape her identity. Unfortunately, the risqué nature of the film overshadows the storyline and the message is lost for a number of audience members.

In various articles, Doucouré is quoted discussing the meaning of the film in the broad context of femininity and what it means for young girls to enter womanhood in this digital age. During her aforementioned interview with Netflix, she stated “The real question of Cuties is can we, as women, truly choose who we want to be, beyond the role models that are imposed upon us by society?”

James Bay

James Bay – Chew On My Heart

Today, three-time Grammy-nominated and BRIT Award-winning multiplatinum singer, songwriter, producer, and guitarist James Bay shares an acoustic version of his latest single “Chew On My Heart.”

“Chew On My Heart” continues to make waves. It vaulted to the Top 40 of Hot AC and Triple A, gathered nearly 9 million global streams, and entered rotation at BBC Radio 1. Rolling Stone noted it as a “Song You Need to Know” and wrote, “If ‘Chew On My Heart’ is any indication of what his forthcoming album is going to sound like, it seems like the musician is taking his sound in a more positive direction.

In talking about the song, Bay noted, “‘Chew On My Heart’ is a great example of releasing something positive about myself publicly for the first time,” he reveals. “It’s an outpouring of love, and that’s a huge theme across this new music. When I come home from tour, I burst through the door and throw my arms around my girl, and she’ll just say, ‘Okay, relax, cool’,” he laughs. “It’s cheesy, but I wrote it from that perspective. It’s the opposite of being guarded.”

Bay has remained busy during quarantine. Recently, James performed a virtual concert on YouTube in support of #SaveOurVenues, the UK crowd fundraiser started to protect music venues at risk for permanent closure due to COVID-19. In addition, James performed “Chew On My Heart” on The TODAY Show and the first full band performance of the song on Mahogany Sessions. Stay tuned for Bay’s upcoming album and tune into his free guitar lessons via Instagram Live on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Follow James Bay: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

GLASS ANIMALS RELEASES NEW TRACK “IT’S ALL SO INCREDIBLY LOUD”

Glass Animals – New Track

Today, Glass Animals releases their new track “It’s All So Incredibly Loud” taken from their fast-approaching third album Dreamland out via Republic Records on August 7th. Listen to the track HERE.

It’s All Incredibly Loud” arrives hot on the heels of Glass Animals’ latest scorching, bass-heavy pop-trip, “Heat Waves,” which is currently sitting at #11 on Spotify’s U.S. Viral Chart and in the Top 35 on Spotify’s Global Viral Chart, as well as in the Top 10 at U.S. Triple-A and Alternative Radio. “It’s All So Incredibly Loud” swells with anticipation and expectation; its urgent, expansive, club-style keyboard melody teamed with Dave Bayley’s signature dreamlike vocals makes for a heady mix. The song comes with its own visual accompaniment, which is directed by the remarkable talent David Wilson (Tame Impala, Christine and the Queens). The video, in its own beautiful way, draws focus on the inevitable jump-off point and the terrible silence that follows.

Dave Bayley explains, “The entire song is only about three seconds of life. I think most people have been in a position where they have had to tell someone something that they knew was going to devastate them. Something that would change their life. It’s about the silence that occurs between those words leaving your mouth and the other person reacting. It’s the most deafening thing I’ve ever experienced. The video is meant to be a metaphor for the build-up before that, and then the sudden explosion of quiet that lasts forever.”

Fundamentally a nostalgic memoir of his life so far, Dreamland finds Bayley covering expansive and difficult ground. As a result, the brand-new album is packed full of intensely sensitive and personal experiences, none more emotional than when the band’s drummer, Joe Seaward, was involved in a monstrous bike accident in July 2018, which threatened his life and that of Glass Animals altogether. Born at a time of immense confusion and uncertainty for the band, it’s an album that will be very timely for the world.

Having canceled extensive international touring plans and unexpectedly navigated the release of their new album through a pandemic, the band is excited to announce their return to the stage and has shared some brand-new European and U.K. tour dates for 2021 – see here.

ABOUT GLASS ANIMALS:

Amassing over two billion global streams to date, British four-piece Glass Animals is led by singer, songwriter and producer Dave Bayley with his bandmates and childhood friends Joe Seaward, Ed Irwin-Singer and Drew MacFarlane. Their second album, How To Be A Human Being, was one of the most critically acclaimed and widely adored records of 2016. With praise from various press outlets, including Billboard, Pitchfork, The FADER, The GuardianThe Telegraph and more, it was nominated for the Mercury Prize Album Of The Year Award in 2017. Glass Animals also made appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Late Late Show with James Corden. As well as producing both of Glass Animals’ studio albums, ZABA and How To Be A Human Being, Dave has worked with a number of artists outside of the band, including 6lack, Khalid, Joey Bada$$, DJ Dahi, Flume and MorMor.

Poor People's Campaign illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Zakat Foundation Rally

Zakat Foundation of America, in partnership with Our Lady of Suyapa Sanctuary and Readi Chicago, a Heartland Alliance program, is taking to the streets. Armed with peace and prayer, mothers lift up their voices as people who have lost their children to police brutality, gathering August 8 at the Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington St., Chicago, IL, 60602).

“When George Floyd cried out ‘Mama!’ I thought of the bond between mother and child — a love like no other — and the idea of this march was born,” said Donna Demir, health adviser for Zakat Foundation, a Chicago-based global development organization that has a 20-year track record of standing with the oppressed and serving the underserved.

Under the banner of Mothers United For Justice, the Saturday rally, slated for 10:30 a.m., will bring together mothers of all races and ethnicities who have lost children to police brutality.

“I know from my nursing experience how common it is for the dying to see or talk to their loved ones who’ve passed before them,” Demir said. “I’d like to think they are welcoming us to the other side with love. I thought how much George Floyd loved his mom and what a blessing if in fact he did see her as he was dying — and he was dying.”

Terminated, jailed and charged with murder, then Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin killed Floyd in broad daylight by kneeling on the handcuffed, subdued man’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds while Floyd begged for breath, said he was dying, and called for his mother, and while onlookers pleaded for Floyd’s life.

Police in the U.S. killed a shocking 1,099 people — about three per day — in 2019, according to the Prison Policy Initiative. There are no comprehensive official databases to track police violence in the U.S. due to police union lobbying, a sticking point for many racial justice and human rights advocacy groups.

African Americans account for 24% of those killed by police, according to Mapping Police Violence, though they represent just 13% of the U.S. population. The U.S.’s 33.5 civilian killings by police per 10 million population far surpass the rates of comparable countries.

With 99% of these deaths occurring in the absence of proven charges, according to Mapping Police Violence, the mothers of those slain by police, both on- and off-duty, are left to mourn without redress or police accountability.

“The suffering of these mothers is real, is palpable,” said Demir, which is why Zakat Foundation will help these mothers air their grief and grievances.

EVENT DETAILS

WHO: Zakat Foundation of America, Heartland Alliance

WHAT: Mothers United For Justice Rally against Police Violence

WHEN: Saturday, August 8, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago, IL, 60602

Laura Basset is the co-founder of the Save Journalism Project

Laura Bassett QxA

Laura Bassett is co-founder of the Save Journalism Project. She was formerly a senior culture and politics reporter at HuffPost before being laid off in 2019. She currently writes for GQ Magazine, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Marie Claire, the Daily Beast, and other publications. Along with John Stanton, she began the Save Journalism project after losing her job, when she became interested in why so many great news publishers were beginning to go under and having to lay off staff.

  1. How did you first get interested in journalism and politics and have these always been passions of yours?

I’ve always had a passion for writing, but wasn’t sure what direction it would take. I was in a graduate program for English Literature in 2008, thinking I wanted to go on and do a Ph.D. when Obama first ran for president. I became kind of obsessed with the election and started blogging on the side, and then I realized I enjoyed doing my politics blog a lot more than I enjoyed sitting in a library writing research papers that only one or two people would read. So I applied for a reporting internship at HuffPost, and the rest is history!

  1. Which are some of the biggest issues with modern journalism and how have they coincided with your career so far?

I think there are three big ones: Lack of diversity in newsrooms, the question of what objectivity in political journalism means in the age of Trump, and the financial/existential crisis facing the industry as a result of the digital age and big tech’s monopoly on ad revenue. The last one affected me the most directly, as I was laid off in 2019 after ten years at HuffPost. The site just wasn’t generating enough profits, having to compete with tech giants like Google and Facebook for ad money, and I lost my job along with scores of other journalists. I never expected to be freelancing for the first time, involuntarily, in the middle of my career, but it has proven to be a great exercise for my writing.

  1. What have been the most valuable skills/pieces of knowledge that you have learned from working at HuffPost?

I never went to journalism school, so most of what I know about reporting I learned at HuffPost. I learned how to write a compelling lede and nut graf, how to draw interesting things out people in interviews, how to show both sides of an issue without necessarily drawing a moral equivalence between them. I learned how to build source relationships and hustle for scoops. And I developed a deeper knowledge of politics and my particular beat, which for a long time was women’s rights issues. I learned how to own up to mistakes immediately and correct them in a transparent way, how to accept constructive criticism, and how to tune out the internet trolls and harassment. All the basics!

  1. What motivated you to co-found the Save Journalism Project and what made it special as an initial idea?

John Stanton, formerly of BuzzFeed, and I were laid off the same week in January of 2019. It was very unexpected for both of us: He was the Washington Bureau chief at the time, and I was a senior politics reporter. There seemed to be very little rhyme or reason to who was laid off that year; news outlets were forced to cut hundreds of staffers and had to make some really tough decisions. At the same time, local newspapers like the New Orleans Times-Picayune were going under entirely. We could see that our whole industry was facing a potentially fatal financial crisis, and we felt like if we didn’t fight for it ourselves, we didn’t know who would. So this project was born.

  1. How can you and your teamwork with or against big tech companies to improve the integrity of news?

Big tech companies are the financial competitors to news publishers, and it isn’t a fair fight right now. They gobble up about two-thirds of the digital ad market, leaving very little money for the actual content creators and publishers from which they also profit. Right now, we are looking to Congress and federal and state antitrust regulators to conduct antitrust investigations into the big four– Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon–and hoping that when they see the devastating impact those companies are having on newspapers, they will break them up and/or regulate them and create a more even playing field.

  1. In the era of fake news and heavy media bias, how can technology be used for the greater good in terms of addressing populations?

“Fake news” is a term the president has thrown at real news outlets because he doesn’t like their coverage of him. By and large, the news stories he calls “fake” are true and factual. But the internet does have an actual fake news problem, which is the disinformation that fringe activists and bad actors spread online, particularly on Facebook and Twitter. I think social media platforms have a massive responsibility to closely monitor and regulate the false propaganda raging through their sites, especially close to election time.

  1. In your opinion, how do you see the future of journalism and how can the Save Journalism Project be a part of this future?

I don’t know what I see for the future of journalism because, especially since COVID, we are on an extremely troubling trajectory. What I hope to see in the future of journalism is a sustainable business model– one in which people are happy to pay for news, and one in which news publishers and magazines don’t have to compete with Google in a David and Goliath-type situation for ad money to survive. And ideally, newsrooms can stop firing and start re-hiring again, because so much talent has been lost in the past few years.

  1. Why is it so important that our country defends the freedom of the press and how can this freedom lead to a more functional democracy?

We’re at the nexus of several historic national crises at the moment, including a deadly pandemic, so journalism–especially local journalism–has never been more important to get life-saving information across to the people and to hold powerful people and institutions to account. At the same time, we have a president attacking the press and encouraging violence against us, along with these devastating financial issues. Without a robust and thriving free press, no one is there to uncover corruption and expose the lies of politicians and inform the electorate and just, basically, keep people aware of what’s happening in their communities and the world at large. That in itself is a massive threat to democracy.

  1. What kinds of opportunities do you have for people who may want to get more involved with the Save Journalism Project?

Please contact us! We’re looking for help raising money, we’re funding freelance stories on local news deserts, and we can always use the voices of other journalists who would like to fight with us to save this industry.

  1. Do you have any clear goals or visions for expanding this Project’s influence, and if so, what are they?

Our primary focus and objective are on policymakers. We aim to get U.S. lawmakers and regulators to address the exploitation of the online marketplace by Google and Facebook which gives them an unfair advantage in the competition for digital advertising revenue. Antitrust regulators in Australia and the U.K. have begun to take these kinds of steps that are necessary and we are encouraged that their American counterparts appear to be on the verge of similar actions.

It is only after the distortions of the marketplace have been addressed that we can rebuild a sustainable business model for journalism in the digital age, particularly local news. Given our focus on policymakers, we are more supporters rather than drivers of changes in the industry. We do not favor any specific model for what kind of journalism industry emerges from these multiple ongoing crises, only that we believe it must include a viable method for news outlets to monetize their content through advertising.

Uzy Rozenthal Botswana

Botswana eVisa Applications

Travelers to Botswana will soon be able to complete visa applications online and ease their entry into the country with Pangea IT. The new service will be hugely beneficial to travelers as well as reduce the government’s investment of funds, time, paperwork, and manpower allocated for visa applications.

Israel’s Pangea IT, which specializes in digital transformation of government and business services, has been selected by the government of Botswana to integrate its eVisa solution. This will enable visitors to Botswana to obtain a visa online and have a seamless entry upon arrival at all the land and air arrival points in the country.

Online visas are becoming more popular as both governments and travelers are increasingly embracing the digital age. The Covid-19 global health crisis is expected to accelerate the trend, as tourists will be looking at reducing their contacts in their home countries and at the travel destination. In the case of Botswana, this is extremely important since the country has a limited number of diplomatic offices abroad so the eVisa option will make traveling to the popular safari destination easier for visitors from various countries.

Pangea has been active in Botswana since 2003 when the company installed a digital birth and death registration system which is still in operation. In 2010, the Israeli company deployed a computerized immigration and citizenship system (ICS) in Botswana.

“We are in the process of integrating our eVisa solution and expect to have it operational till the end of the year,” said Uzy Rozenthal, Pangea EVP and general manager government division. “eVisa will dramatically speed up the entry process in Botswana and will translate into a substantial savings in both administration costs and time needed without compromising border security.”

360 Magazine, In Full Bloom

In Full Bloom

In Full Bloom – Award-winning, indie boxing feature

Written & Directed by Adam VillaSeñor and Reza Ghassemi

After the U.S. and Japan’s battle in WWII, Masahiro and Clint train past their limits to prepare for a long-awaited international fighting match. The film tracks these two tough, complex characters as their powerful motives parallel the overarching tension between the two nations, still in manifestation succeeding the war. The high-contrast and dark color tones within In Full Bloom’s cinematography drives the relentless emotional and physical struggles that face both characters.

Funimation

Funimation – New Shows

Funimation’s industry panel at FunimationCon 2020 was packed full of exciting new and returning series, an upcoming theatrical release, expansion of Funimation to Latin America, and more. On its streaming service, Funimation announced that all 220 episodes of the original Naruto series subbed and dubbed will launch in North America on July 6, and the next batch of One Piece dubbed episodes are coming in August to digital storefronts. Funimation also announced returning and continuing series including Fruits Basket Season 2, Fire Force Season 2, No Guns Life Season 2, and new series including DECA-DENCE, By the Grace of the Gods, Higurashi: When They Cry – NEW and Akudama Drive are coming to the service. Funimation continues to delight fans with exclusive products in THE FUNIMATION SHOP, including Dragon Ball Z Funko Pop Ultra Size Shenron, and Exclusive Dragon Ball Super Funko Pop Kale and Caulifla two-pack. And starting today, the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Part One Standard Edition Blu-ray is available for pre-order.

Aniplex of America is partnering with Funimation Films to distribute the new highly anticipated Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train in theaters! We are so thrilled to partner with them on this theatrical release! Stay tuned for information soon!

Funimation, which is currently available in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, will expand to Mexico and Brazil in Fall 2020. Funimation also announced it would offer select subtitled and dubbed anime series in Spanish and Portuguese. Stay tuned for more information.

Returning and Continuing Series this Summer (North America)

*  Fruits Basket Season 2
*  Fire Force Season 2 premieres July 3
*  Black Clover
*  One Piece – Simulcast continues
*  Sword Art Online Alicization War of Underworld Part 2 premieres July 11
*  No Guns Life Season 2 resumes July 9 with Episode 13
*  The Millionaire Detective – Balance: UNLIMITED resumes Simulcast on July 30 with Episode 3
*  APPARE-RANMAN! resumes Simulcast on July 24 with Episode 4
*  A Certain Scientific Railgun T – SimulDub™ resuming
*  Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater returns July 28 with Episode 4
*  Bungo and Alchemist -Gears of Judgement- returns July 3 with Episode 8

New to Funimation’s Streaming Service in July 2020 (North America)

*  SUPER HXEROS premieres July 3
*  DECA-DENCE – July 2020
*  Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! premieres July 10
*  Lapis Re: LiGHTs premieres July 4
*  Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation Season 2 (Subtitled) premieres July 7. All of Season 1 (subbed) will be released on the same day as Season 2 premieres

Coming to Funimation 2020 and 2021 (North America)

*  By the Grace of the Gods – Fall 2020
*  Akudama Drive – October 2020
*  Adachi and Shimamura – Fall 2020
*  Higurashi: When They Cry – NEW – Fall 2020
*  Maesetsu! Opening Act – Fall 2020
*  Our Last Crusade or the Rise of a New World – Fall 2020
*  Ikebukuro West Gate Park – Fall 2020
*  Dropout Idol Fruit Tart – Fall 2020
*  MARS RED – 2021

New Products and Home Video Releases in the Funimation Shop

Funimation revealed exciting products available in the Funimation Shop. Highlights include exclusive Dragon Ball Z Funko Pop, Dragon Ball Super Funko Pop, Fruits Basket Kyo, and Yuki Figures, and the Chrome Pop Collection. Pre-order is open for Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Part One Standard Edition Blu-Ray.

Home Entertainment

*  Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Part One Standard Edition Blu-ray (Pre-order)
*  The Rising of the Shield Hero – Season One Part One – BD / DVD Limited Edition
*  The Rising of the Shield Hero Season One Part Two – BD / DVD + Artbook
*  The Quintessential Quintuplets – Season One – BD / DVD Limited Edition

Products Available for Pre-Order

*  Dragon Ball Z Funko Pop – Ultra Size Shenron – Pre-Order (metallic/glow in the dark)                                                           *  Exclusive Dragon Ball Super Funko Pop – Kale/Caulifla 2pk
*  Exclusive Fruits Basket – Kyo Figure
*  Exclusive Fruits Basket – Yuki Figure

Special Product Offers

*  Berserk Guts: Black Swordsman (exclusive bloody variant)
*  July 3rd – Chrome Pop Collection / XL All Might Glitter FiGPiN
*  July 4th – XL Gogeta/Broly FiGPiN 2-pack

About Funimation

Funimation distributes the best anime to a passionate, global community of fans. For over 25 years, Funimation has pioneered an omnichannel approach to engaging and entertaining millions where they want it most—streaming, home entertainment, theatrical, e-commerce, merchandising, live events, and more.

Funimation’s streaming services offer a growing catalog of over 700 anime series and 13,000+ hours of content available on 15 platforms and in 47 countries. Funimation’s in-house team designs must-have, exclusive collectibles distributed through major retailers and an e-commerce site; Funimation’s theatrical division is responsible for six of the top 20 anime films in the U.S. As pioneers of the SimulDub™, Funimation is the gold standard for foreign language dubbing of Japanese anime with the highest quality standards and fidelity to the original artists. With a fan-centric approach, Funimation has built a loyal social community of over 30 million followers and earned the trust of Japan’s most iconic creators.

Funimation has nine offices in six countries, and over 400 employees worldwide. As an independently operated joint venture between U.S.-based Sony Pictures Entertainment and Japan’s Aniplex, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., Funimation benefits from deep entertainment expertise across cultures, territories, and languages.

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, COVID-19

Alabama Students – COVID-19

By Jason Tayer

Various states within the U.S. have taken extreme caution, little caution, and everything in between when it comes to controlling the spreading of COVID-19. As Summer came around, certain states began to open many more businesses and public areas, including bars, restaurants, parks, etc.

These policies, coupled with many citizens yearning to return back to “normal” life, led to a specific group of students in Tuscaloosa, Alabama purposely trying to catch the virus and spread it further. ABC News reports that a number of students, already tested positive for COVID-19, have been organizing parties to “intentionally infect each other with the contagion that has killed more than 127,000 people in the United States.” These students have orchestrated a sort of game where they put money in a pot and whoever contracts the virus wins the money at the end. WAVY News calls this activity playing “Russian Roulette” with the health of these students. Tuscaloosa’s Fire Chief Randy Smith spoke out about this reckless behavior and the Alabama Department of Public Health has reiterated that those tested positive for the virus should remain quarantined for at least 14 days, or else they are subject to violations up to $500.

Since these parties have been reoccurring for several weeks, the state of Alabama has confirmed 10,000 new cases in the past 14 days, which is an alarming amount, considering the fact that there have been a total of approximately 38,000 confirmed cases since March. In this sense, there is a clear correlation between the presence of these coronavirus parties and a huge lump of new confirmed cases in the past two weeks. The CDC denotes the United States as a country with widespread ongoing transmission, and specifically, WHNT News admits that Alabama’s cases have doubled ever since the stay-at-home order was lifted on May 1st. For this reason, it is crucial that all citizens social distance, positively tested citizens quarantine themselves, and students refrain from spreading the virus in any way, especially in the case of parties.