Spotlight feature

Friday, September 16, 2016

Director, producer, writer, and performer, Caatje van Leeuwen, joined me Monday at 9am PST LIVE on KUCI 88.9fm!

If you missed Caatje on today's show, listen here!

Director, producer, writer, and performer, Caatje van Leeuwen is the founder of Amsterdam-based production company Sun Cat Productions. Her passion lies in telling slice-of- life stories that weave larger social issues with intimate glimpses into the relationships of everyday people. The result is a series of short films that aim to go beyond the inherent beauty of film-making as an art form to the beauty of life itself, inspiring hope from otherwise dark corners.

In recent years, Caatje has developed, written and directed multiple film projects and has proven to be a driving force for each taking on multiple roles, as necessary. Most recently she wrote and directed Different Stories, Jan, the dark comedy The Upper Crust, and The Man For The Boy for artist Blackbird (Merel Koman) to be released in October 2016.

Caatje is a founding partner at LA-based film studio, Cinema Collaboratorium.

Caatje served as writer, producer, post-director and star of Sun Cat Productions' debut film, William which was featured in the 2015 Cannes film festival short film showcase corner.

She is a best director nominee for short film, Jan at the Amsterdam 48 Hour Film Project (2015, Jan also won 2nd best film, best editing and nominations for best cinematographer in the contest.

Her latest short, The Upper Crust screened at the 2016 Cannes film festival Short Film Corner and is selected for the 2016 LA Femme Film Festival and the Sunscreen Film Festival Florida 2017.

Brad Allgood, Director/Editor/Director of Photography, joined me Monday at 9:30am PST to talk about his award-winning documentary Landfill Harmonic!

If you missed Brad Allgood on today's show, listen here!

Brad Allgood (Director/Editor/Director of Photography) Brad is an award-winning filmmaker with a background in international development and public health. His films have taken him into the heart of the Nicaraguan rainforest, as well as to remote Caribbean islands, the sparse Kalahari desert and dense African jungles. While working for PBS Marketing and Communications, he produced national campaigns for PBS programs including the Emmy Award-winning series Downton Abbey and the American Experience film Freedom Riders. Before transitioning to filmmaking, Brad served for 3 ½ years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua. He holds a M.A. in Film and Video Production from American University and a B.S. in Biology and Geology from the University of Georgia.

Award-winning doc LANDFILL HARMONIC opens in Los Angeles Sept. 23rd

Following an impressive festival run and successful NYC theatrical opening, award-winning documentary LANDFILL HARMONIC, directed by Brad Allgood and Graham Townsley, opens in Los Angeles Sept. 23rd.

You may have heard the incredible story of The Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, the subjects of LANDFILL HARMONIC, featured this week on NPR Morning Edition. They've also been featured on 60 MINUTES, TEDx, NPR Music, PIX 11 Evening News, CBS Morning News, The Telegraph, and many others. Orchestra founder Favio Chavez began teaching music to children living in the slums of Cateura, Paraguay. Realizing expensive instruments were unattainable for most families, Chavez and carpenter Nicolas Gomez began crafting instruments using materials found in the landfill.

When a short Kickstarter video went viral, The Recycled Orchestra of Cateura was catapulted into the global media spotlight. LANDFILL HARMONIC shares the adventures and hardships of this close knit group of young musicians as they share their inspiring journey and music with the world. You can check out the trailer for LANDFILL HARMONIC HERE

Don't miss the opportunity to see LANDFILL HARMONIC on the big screen, followed by live performances of The Recycled Orchestra in Los Angeles.

The Film Collaborative and Emerging Pictures



directed by Brad Allgood and Graham Townsley

co-directed/produced by Juliana Penaranda- Loftus

Executive Producers- Alejandra Amarilla, Rodolfo Madero, Belle Murphy

running time 84 minutes

In Spanish with English subtitles

Audiences around the world have praised the incredible true story of these talented young people at over 200 film festivals and winning over 40 film prizes including the Audience Award at the South By Southwest Film Festival, AFI DOCS Festival, Vancouver Film Festival; official selection at the Sheffield Film Festival and winner of the Documentary Award for The Humanitas Prize.

LANDFILL HARMONIC chronicles the incredible journey of Paraguay's Recycled Orchestra of Cateura. Orchestra Founder Favio Chavez had hopes of sharing music with the children of Cateura, a poverty stricken slum next to the capital's largest landfill. Since expensive musical instruments were not within attainable for families in Cateura, Favio, along with carpenter and trash picker Nicolas "Cola" Gomez, began to craft instruments from materials found in the landfill to provide children with the opportunity to play. They journey exceeds all expectations as they find themselves playing for audiences around the world, even accompanying artists such as Stevie Wonder, Metallica and Megadeth. They've also played for Pope Francis, and last week performed at The United Nations in NYC. Don't miss this exciting opportunity to see the orchestra in person.


followed by Q&A with filmmakers:

director Brad Allgood, co-director/producer Juliana Penaranda-Loftus

producer/founder Alexandra Amarilla

with special guests Favio Chavez and The Recycled Orchestra of Cateura

Sept 19th @ 7:00 PM

Museum of Tolerance

9796 W Pico Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90035

Filmmaker Q&A + live performance

Sept 22nd @ 7:30 PM- Filmmaker Q&A + live performance

Laemmle Music Hall

9036 Wilshire Blvd

Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Filmmaker Q&A + live performance

RSVP for both screenings HERE

LANDFILL HARMONIC is the award winning and emotionally inspiring film following the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical youth group that plays instruments made entirely out of garbage and waste from the garbage dump in their home town in Paraguay. When their story goes viral, the orchestra is catapulted into the global spotlight. Under the guidance of idealistic music director Favio Chavez, the orchestra must navigate a strange new world of arenas and sold-out concerts. The film is a testimony to the transformative power of music and the resilience of the human spirit.


Laemmle’s Monica Film Center

1332 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401


Laemmle’s Pasadena Playhouse

673 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101




LANDFILL HARMONIC has played over 200 film festivals and

has received over 30 Awards at festivals worldwide

David Magdael and Associates, Inc.
600 W. 9th Street, Suite 715
Los Angeles, CA. 90015
Office 213 624 7827

Friday, September 9, 2016

Author, speaker, parenting columnist, and life advice expert Liz Pryor joined me Monday at 9am PST!

If you missed Liz Pryor on today's show, listen here!

Liz Pryor is an author, speaker, parenting columnist and life advice expert.  She is the owner of and author of What Did I Do Wrong? Published by Free Press/Simon & Schuster, nominated for the books for a better life award 2008.
Last year, Liz went up against 15 thousand hopefuls in a national search for the position of “life advice guru” on ABC’s Good Morning America, and won.  She dispensed an advice column weekly for ABC news, answered relationship and parenting advice questions, and appeared on air for the morning show.  Her candid shoot from the hip approach to the growing challenges of everyday life in this fast paced culture, offers support and hope in a voice that resonates.   Her familiar yet unique style has been coined as a modern day dear Abby meets a slice of Jon Stewart.

My Journey from Shame to Strength

A Memoir by Liz Pryor

“Pregnant at 17, Good Morning America’s Liz Pryor was hidden in a juvenile detention center by her ashamed family. A poignant, often funny reminder that we learn who we are when we’re at our most challenged.”—Good Housekeeping

“A searingly honest recounting of what it’s like to both love your parents and realize their all-too-
human frailties.”—Family Circle

“This is a funny, tender and brave coming-of-age tale.”— People Magazine

“Authentic and unforgettable”—Publishers Weekly

“Unsentimental yet moving”—Kirkus

For readers of Orange Is the New Black and Girl Interrupted,
a powerful memoir about a lifelong secret, and a dramatic experience that will change a young girl’s life forever

In 1979, Liz Pryor is a seventeen-year-old girl from a good family living in a wealthy Chicago suburb. Halfway through her senior year of high school, Liz discovers she is pregnant—a fact that her parents are determined to keep a secret forever. They don’t want their daughter’s future defined by this mistake. They also want to protect their family’s name. One snowy January day, after driving across three states, Liz’s mother drops her off at what Liz thinks is a Catholic home for unwed mothers—but when they arrive, she learns that the home is actually a locked, government-run facility for delinquent and impoverished pregnant teenage girls.

In the cement-block residence, Liz is alone and terrified: a girl from a privileged, sheltered background living amid tough, street-savvy girls who come from the foster care system or juvenile detention. But over the next six months, isolated and in hiding from everyone she knows, Liz finds herself questioning everything she was once taught about the world. Left to fend for herself she eventually bonds with the girls and, for the first time, sees life through a wider lens.

Told from the perspective of that fragile yet resilient 17 year-old-girl, LOOK AT YOU NOW is an honest, moving, suspenseful story about finding strength and friendship in the most unlikely circumstances. Liz’s journey speaks to the power of family to elude us even as they are closest to us, and to the value of digging deeply to learn who we are as individuals. For anyone who has lived with a version of judgment or shame, this book offers a reminder of the power we have to define our own lives. Infused on every page with the drama of how one single mistake can change everything, this is a memoir you will not forget.

Here is a great discussion guide for Look at You Now.

What Did I Do Wrong? - Liz Pryor

The journey of this book began as a simple self-exploration of my own experiences with lost friendships. I was convinced I was the only woman on the planet who suffered the shame, guilt and confusion at the ending of my friendships. When I finally began to open up about these experiences with other women, I quickly learned it wasn’t just me, and then I realized I wanted to write this book. Real life stories from ordinary everyday women, paved the way to breaking the silence on a subject so many of us experience and so few of us ever discuss.

When women end friendships with each other they often give-and get- the silent treatment. No reasons, no warning, no nothing. Without the societal support or understanding that accompanies romantic split-ups, most women suffer the loss of female friendship in silence.

WHAT DID I DO WRONG? is the first book to break that silence, examining the special bonds that characterize female friendships. It then helps women understand why friendships fizzle by explaining how to recognize the signs of trouble, how to resolve the old wounds, and even, sometimes how to to reconnect and resolve matters with old friends.

I’d love to hear stories and ideas from women who have anything to share relating to this subject. If you’re not sure your experiences are related try reading an excerpt or asking a question. I look forward to hearing from you. You can e-mail me at

WHAT DID I DO WRONG? is now available and is published by Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster.
Liz Pryor is an author, speaker, parenting columnist, and life advice expert. Her book about female friendship, What Did I Do Wrong?, was a finalist for a Books for a Better Life Award. In 2011, ABC’s Good Morning America conducted a national search for an on-air life advice guru, and out of fifteen thousand applicants, Pryor was choen for the position. She lives in Los Angeles with her three children.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Director/Producer Soren Sorensen joined me Monday 8/29/16 to talk about his Omar Sosa Documentary!

If you missed Soren Sorensen
on today's show, 


Soren Sorensen is an award-winning filmmaker specializing in nonfiction film, television, and web content with an emphasis on advocacy for nonprofit organizations. His clients include the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Families First RI, Montessori Community School of Rhode Island, and The Picture of Children’s Health. In 2013, Sorensen co-created, produced, directed, and edited "Behind the Ribbon," a series of original documentaries featuring stories of breast cancer treatment and survivorship. A collaboration with the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, "Behind the Ribbon" premiered on Rhode Island PBS in 2013. In 2014, Sorensen co-created, produced, directed, and edited "Harvesting Rhode Island," a Rhode Island PBS series on the subject of local food and farming in the Ocean State.

In 2015, Sorensen completed his first feature-length documentary, "My Father’s Vietnam," which had its world premiere at the 2015 Rhode Island International Film Festival, where it won the Soldiers and Sacrifice Grand Prize. The film also appeared at the 2015 Red Dirt International Film Festival in Stillwater, OK; the 2015 New Haven International Film Festival in New Haven, CT; and the 2016 South African International Film Festival in Johannesburg. "My Father's Vietnam" won Best Picture (Documentary) at the 2016 Flagler Film Festival in Palm Coast, FL.

"My Father's Vietnam" was released on May 24, 2016 by Gravitas Ventures and is currently available on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes. and Vudu. It will be out soon on Blu-Ray and DVD.

ABOUT THE FILMOMAR SOSA'S 88 WELL-TUNED DRUMS is a documentary film on the life and music of Cuban-born pianist and composer Omar Sosa. CHECK OUT THE OFFICIAL TRAILER:
The film traces Sosa’s origins from his birth in Camagüey, Cuba’s third-largest city, conservatory education in Havana, and relocation to Ecuador where he briefly wrote and arranged commercial jingles. Sosa’s story continues with a fateful mid-90s move to the U.S., a stint as a sought-after sideman in the Bay Area’s Latin jazz scene, and partnership with manager Scott Price that continues to this day.
Since 1997, Sosa has released nearly 30 albums and received four Grammy nominations and three Latin Grammy nominations. Performing over 80 concerts on six continents annually, Sosa is known for a rhythmic style (hence the “Drums” of the film’s title) and musical influences as varied as his travel itinerary.
Since 2013, whenever Sosa appeared in the northeastern U.S., Providence-based filmmaker Soren Sorensen (MY FATHER'S VIETNAM, 2016) was granted unprecedented access to Sosa and his bandmates for interviews, rehearsals, and performances. OMAR SOSA'S 88 WELL-TUNED DRUMS includes glimpses of the globetrotting artist in duo with celebrated Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, with the Afri-Lectric Experience, and with his latest band, the Quarteto AfroCubano in storied venues including New York’s Blue Note Jazz Club.
Sosa’s Quarteto AfroCubano features fellow Camagüey natives Ernesto Simpson on drums and Leandro Saint-Hill on alto saxophone and flute and bassist Childo Tomas, who hails from Maputo, Mozambique. Perhaps most thrilling for fans is the full-circle nature of Sosa’s 2015 album Ilé, which reunited Sosa’s music with its Cuban roots. LEARN MORE ABOUT ILÉ:
I was first introduced to Sosa’s music late in 2011 by Tony Aguilar, publisher and editor-in-chief of an arts magazine called Tribe. Aguilar had hired me to write and edit for Tribe and we decided that Omar Sosa would make a great addition to the magazine’s first issue. Alma, Sosa’s 2012 collaboration with Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, was to be released in early 2012. After a few phone conversations and email exchanges with Scott Price, Sosa’s affable Oakland-based manager, it was decided that I would interview Sosa via Skype. What I thought would be a fifteen-minute conversation promoting ALMA stretched into an hour or more. 
Sosa’s story captivated me. 
His otherworldly talent as a pianist, composer and bandleader is only equalled by his enigmatic charisma as a person. It was obvious that other people loved his music as much as I did. Figuring that, like me, Sosa’s fans and admirers around the world might like to know more about the artist, I asked some very generous friends, who happen to be excellent cinematographers, for some help.
During the last three years we captured live performances of Sosa in duo with Paolo Fresu, with the Afri-Lectric Experience and with his Quarteto AfroCubano, who we visited at Systems Two Recording Studio in Brooklyn, NY during sessions for their 2015 album, Iié. Conversations with Sosa and his collaborators including Fresu, Leandro Saint-Hill, Ernesto Simpson, Childo Tomas and Peter Apfelbaum bring the audience closer to Sosa’s music than anyone has ever been.

The Ries Brothers Documentary

The Ries Brothers LIVE in Clearwater, FL

The Ries Brothers, Alternative Pop and Rock duo from Clearwater, Florida, who have twice toured nationally with the iconic band CHICAGO LIVE were featured today Monday August 29th on KUCI 88.9fm with host Janeane Bernstein of the "Get the FUNK Out Show!" Streaming and available on iTunes after the show wraps.

If you missed The Ries Brothers TODAY on KUCI 88.9fm, LISTEN HERE!

The Ries Brothers (pronounced ”Rees”) are a brother duo that writes and performs their original material influenced by their love of rock, blues, funk, and reggae. They recently finished a 5 state tour opening for the legendary Butch Trucks (Allman Brothers) & The Freight Train Band. They have twice toured nationally with the iconic band CHICAGO. Their first 10 city tour with CHICAGO included a performance at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. They recently sold out three headlining shows at Ruth Eckerd Hall’s Murray Theatre in Clearwater, Florida. The Ries Brothers have also opened for David Cook, Daughtry, Los Lonely Boys, REO Speedwagon, Little River Band, the Edgar Winter Band & The Family Stone among others. The Ries Brothers have also appeared at the House of Blues & Viper Room in Los Angeles.

Older brother Charlie (20) handles the lead vocals while simultaneously playing the drums and keyboard bass. The duo’s full sound is a result of Charlie’s unique ability to do this. Kevin (17) plays guitar, provides background vocals and is the co-writer on many of their original songs. In the summer of 2013, the boys were 2 of only 25 performers ages 14-21 selected from the state of Florida to participate in the exclusive Los Angeles Grammy Museum’s Music Revolution Project. In the summer of 2014 the boys were part of the Van’s Warped Tour in Florida. The Ries Brothers were recently named by The Tampa Bay Times as one of their favorite artists of the past year.

Additional information on the Ries Brothers upcoming performance in NYC

The Ries Brothers, Alternative Pop and Rock duo, Featuring Special Guest
Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez. Performance on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 in NYC!

The Ries Brothers are currently conducting interviews to promote their new
single "Street Lights"

WHO: The Ries Brothers, Alternative Pop and Rock duo, Featuring Special
Guest Vini Lopez "Mad Dog"

WHEN: Wednesday, August 31, 2016
WHERE: Iridium 1650 Broadway New York, NY 10023
TIME: 7:30pm Check In - Performance 8:00pm

WHAT: The Ries Brothers, Alternative Pop and Rock duo from Clearwater, FL,
who have twice toured nationally with the iconic band CHICAGO. Will be
promoting their new single "Street Lights"

Ries Brothers "Street Light" Tour

Charlie (20) handles the lead vocals while simultaneously playing the
drums and keyboard bass. Kevin (17) plays guitar, provides background
vocals and is the co-writer on many of their original songs. The duo’s
full sound is a result of Charlie’s unique ability to do what he does. The
brothers distinct sound is influenced by many genres, including pop, rock,
blues, funk, and reggae.

Vini Lopez is a Founding Member of the E Street Band and a Member of the
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He backed Bruce Springsteen in several bands,
including Steel Mill and the E Street Band. He also played on
Springsteen's first two albums, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and The
Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle.

'Street Light" Co-written by Grammy Award Winner & Multi Platinum Producer
- Carlos Battey of The Jackie Boyz and The Ries Brothers.

Video "Street Light"