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Sunday, August 18, 2019

8/19/19 @9:45am pst - Sarah Smith joins Janeane to talk about her book Marilou is Everywhere

THE “HAUNTINGLY GORGEOUS” AND “STRANGELY EXCITING” DEBUT NOVEL OF THE SUMMER

MARILOU IS EVERYWHERE

“Hauntingly gorgeous... Smith... captures this unstable world with matter-of-fact poetry,
spare and sensual and surprisingly funny. Bleak and vivid; Smith's characters are as rich as her prose.”
—«KIRKUS, starred review «


“This is a mysterious and strangely exciting debut.  Smith is a poet, and writes in sensory-driven, soul-tapping prose.”—Booklist

“Sarah Elaine Smith weaves together an unsettling coming-of-age story…



Smith’s writing is feral. It’s alert, skittish, and hungry. Together, her words create
a distorted picture of desperation and absence and a poignant story of accountability.”—BUST

“Smith’s rural world is brought to life with precise and devastating descriptions of poverty and neglect. This is a promising debut.”—Publisher’s Weekly

A “Most Anticipated Book of Summer”—LOS ANGELES TIMES

A “Book You Need in Your Life this Summer”—COSMOPOLITAN


“Sarah Elaine Smith has one of the most likable and delightful writing voices I have encountered recently—funny, lyrical, sexy, sad, humane, and just a total pleasure to read.”
—Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot


“Page after page I was struck by lines so unbearably beautiful and wise. . . a writer I would follow anywhere.”
—Julie Buntin, author of Marlena


Sarah Elaine Smith is an incredible talent whose work stops readers in their tracks. Elif Batuman considers Smith “one of the most likable and delightful writing voices [she has] encountered,” and in this distinctly alluring voice, Smith tells a gripping, page-turning story in MARILOU IS EVERYWHERE (Riverhead Books; Publication Date: July 30, 2019), her thrilling debut novel about female adolescence, family, class and identity in rural America. Smith holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, as well as an MFA in poetry from the Michener Center for Writers. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Wallace Fellowship and her prize-winning poetry and fiction has earned recognition from the MacDowell Colony and the Keene Prize for Literature, among others. Now, Smith exquisitely marries her lush, lyrical writing with a propulsive mystery that examines the magic of pretending and the perils of refusing to be who you are.

MARILOU IS EVERYWHERE takes the “missing girl in a small town” premise and turns it on its head, bringing depth and social nuance to the familiar trope. A fourteen-year-old girl lives with her two older brothers and absent mother in impoverished rural Pennsylvania. When a popular teenage girl from a more affluent home nearby goes missing, the young narrator escapes her family and slips into the missing teen’s life, hoarding the love of a confused and sick mother and seduced by the idea of living the life of someone else. Grappling with a complicated relationship to maternal love and an untenable web of lies, the vulnerable but fierce girl must confront her own self-hatred and its connection to greater pain within her family and community. Set in a class-divided Appalachia, Smith explores both the charming idiosyncrasies and the injustices of suffering small town America.


Packed with poignant, breath-taking sentences, MARILOU IS EVERYWHERE is a tantalizing mystery that is compulsively readable. It harkens the peculiar quirk of Twin Peaks and the hypnotic prose of Emma Cline’s Girls that brilliantly captures the ineffable strangeness of being a teenage girl in an often dangerous world. And yet, Sarah Elaine Smith occupies a space as a writer and storyteller that is all her own—weird and wonderful, darkly comic yet tender and soulful. MARILOU IS EVERYWHERE marks the arrival of a major new talent and profoundly special voice.


MARILOU IS EVERYWHERE • Sarah Elaine Smith
Riverhead Books • On-Sale July 30, 2019 • ISBN: 978-0-525-53524-9


ABOUT
Sarah Elaine Smith holds MFAs in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and poetry from the Michener Center for Writers. She is also a recipient of a Rona Jaffe Wallace fellowship.

SARAH ELAINE SMITH ON TOUR FOR MARILOU IS EVERYWHERE

PITTSBURGH, PA – ONGOING
HUDSON, NY – AUGUST 10
BROOKLYN, NY – AUGUST 12
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 13
PROVIDENCE, RI – AUGUST 15
LINCOLN, NE – SEPTEMBER 5
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 6
IOWA CITY, IA – SEPTEMBER 11
AUSTIN, TX – OCTOBER 26-27


8/19/19 @9:30am pst - Amanda Haas, author of The Vibrant Life: Eat Well, Be Well—and Love Your Midlife joined Janeane live on KUCI 88.9fm!

LISTEN to today's conversation with featured guest, Amanda Haas!

For the millions of women who want to enter or live their midlife with grace and good health comes this straight-talking and gorgeously photographed book packed with advice, resources, and practices that promote wellness, beauty, and longevity, alongside more than 70 delicious recipes. From the authority behind The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook and a line of Vibrant Life–branded food products at Whole Foods, these recipes are bookended by lifestyle primers—including information on holistic practices, hormones, and how to eat, all contributed or vetted by experts. Combining form and function, this book is both a resource and an inspiration. Fresh, approachable recipes for all occasions—including drinks, of course—deliver a number of benefits that boost immunity, strengthen memory, lift moods, support digestive health, and more!

Amanda Haas is a cookbook author, cooking instructor, and brand ambassador for companies including Traeger Grills and Whole Foods Market. After discovering certain foods like gluten were causing inflammation in her body, Amanda wrote The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook (Chronicle Books, 2015). Her goal? "To make real food taste so good, people don't miss the junk food!" In her newest cookbook, The Vibrant Life: Eat Well, Be Well, Amanda continues to create recipes that are nutrient-dense and delicious, along with exploring a dozen other topics on aging, including yoga, sex and relationships, meditation, time in nature, and the power of humor. Learn more about Amanda at www.amandahaascooks.com and on Instagram @amandahaascooks.


Amanda is a graduate of Tante Marie's Cooking School and lives in the Bay Area with her two sons.

8/19/19 @9am pst - Mara Gordon, a cannabis advocate, entrepreneur, and researcher, joined Janeane on KUCI 88.9fm

LISTEN to today's conversation with featured guest, Mara Gordon.

Mara Gordon is a cannabis advocate, entrepreneur, and researcher. She has harnessed her background as a process engineer to create therapeutic dosing regimens for thousands of patients around the world, drastically improving their health, quality of life and longevity. Mara openly shares her knowledge about the therapeutic benefits of the cannabis plant – whether consulting with medical teams, through TEDx Talks or calling out hyperbole in the industry she cares so deeply about.

Mara rose to prominence through the company she co-founded, Aunt Zelda’s. Back in 2011, Aunt Zelda’s operated as a collective, bringing bespoke cannabis formulations to patients. As additional regulations were introduced in California, Mara standardized her most popular therapeutic oil blends, making them commercially available to patients through the respected Aunt Zelda’s brand.

With science as her North Star, Mara has pursued data-driven, plant-based medicine for numerous maladies. Seeking to engage a larger medical and patient community as well as to place the practice of medicine back into the hands of qualified medical practitioners, Mara launched Calla Spring Wellness, a telemedicine platform and clinical service utilized by physicians and nurses to guide them on incorporating cannabinoid-based medicines into their standard treatment plans. Calla Spring Wellness is fueled by her careful data collection through Aunt Zelda’s, along with years of research and development in consultation with knowledgeable physicians and world-renowned researchers.

Unlike other pharmaceutical drugs with recommended dosage protocols, formal clinical research on cannabis has been unavailable in the U.S. because of its classification as a Schedule I drug, resulting in more anecdotal than factual information. Unwilling to be stimied by federal laws, Mara co-founded Zelda Therapeutics in Australia. The company brings together some of the world’s leading researchers and clinicians active in the study and use of medicinal cannabis to treat a variety of ailments. Presently, Zelda is engaged in pre-clinical research for multiple forms of cancer and diabetes-related cognitive decline, as well as clinical trials for autism, chronic pain and insomnia.


As interest in cannabis spreads, Mara continues to be an outspoken leader in the medical cannabis space. She has appeared on stage in front of audiences nationally and internationally and was featured in the films The Medicine in Marijuana, Mary Janes: Women of Weed, and the award-winning documentary Weed the People.

Monday, August 12, 2019

8/12/19 - post show conversation with producer Tait Brady who produced the film about trailerblazer, musician, and inspiration SUZI Q (Susan Kay Quatro)



BIO
Susan Kay Quatro was born June 3rd, 1950, in Detroit Michigan, the 4th of 5 children. ‘Suzi’ was raised in a musical family, including 3 sisters and one brother, who all played various instruments. Suzi herself made her debut on stage playing bongos in her fathers jazz band, "The Art Quatro Stage Trio". From an early age she studied classical piano and percussion, then aged 14, began an all-girl band with elder sister Patti, called The Pleasure Seekers. Suzi was ‘told’ she would be playing bass guitar, which was as tall as her. She quickly became the lead singer and front person, this band toured for 6 years, very successfully, releasing a few singles along the way, then changed their name to Cradle in 1969.

It was in this band, a couple of years later, that UK record producer Mickie Most, came to a concert, and offered Suzi a solo contract. She flew to England in 1971 to begin her journey to fame. Soon after Suzi began working with now legendary songwriters Chinn and Chapman which resulted in the huge hit, “Can The Can”, which went to number one in May 1973, and went on to sell two and a half million copies worldwide. Between 1973 and 1980, Suzi Quatro featured in the British charts for no less than 101 weeks, and has sold to date over 55 million records, and still counting. Her hits include “48 Crash”, “Too Big”, “Devil Gate Drive”, “Daytona Demon”, “The Wild One”, “She’s in Love With You”, “Mama’s Boy”, “If You Can’t Give Me Love”, “Rock Hard” and a million seller in the USA., ‘Stumblin In’ a duet with Chris Norman.

From 77-79 Suzi spread her wings and landed a part on the worldwide hit TV series ‘Happy Days’, playing ‘Leather Tuscadero’ opposite Henry Winkler and Ron Howard. She continued to act in other shows including, Minder, Dempsey and Makepeace, and more up to date, Absolutely Fabulous and Midsomer Murders. In 1986 Suzi made her West End debut playing the leading role of Annie Oakley in Irving Berlin’s ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ for which she received great critical acclaim. 1988 Suzi spread her wings again, and hosted her own talk show called ‘Gas Street’ which ran for a year.

1989 Suzi was one of the first rock and roll acts to go to Russia, where she performed for over half a million people in just six weeks. 1991, She was triumphant again, realising a lifelong ambition by writing the music and lyrics, along with Shirlie Roden, and starring in ‘Talullah Who?’. It ran for its full season of 5 weeks, and Suzi received amazing critics.

In 1999 Suzi’s radio career started with BBCRadio 2, which is ongoing today. Suzi has done her own weekly programs, and many special documentaries including Elvis Presley, Otis Redding, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Patsy Cline, and a recent special on her hometown of Detroit. Suzi is a very popular DJ, even being nominated for music broadcaster of the year at the Sony Radio Awards in 2006.

In 2006 Suzi released the autobiographical album, “Back to the Drive” which has become the fans favourite worldwide. Suzi even made an appearance alongside Charles Dance in the theatre, in a play called “Exonerated At This Time”. Unzipped, Suzi’s autobiography was released in 2007 and has done extremely well worldwide, getting to number 2 in the Australian charts where she continues to tour.

In 2014 Suzi celebrated 50 years as a professional musician; released her book of poetry “Through My Eyes”; and also the 4-CD career retrospective edition The Girl From Detroit City. Continuing to tour and record – her late 2019 Australian tour will be her 33rd ‘down under’ - there may well be no international artist who has toured Australia more often than Suzi, a sign of the remarkable impact she has made on the Australian public and culture. Suzi’s other largest followings continue to be in Germany, Poland, the UK, Russia and Spain and she continues to tour playing major venues around the world.

In March 2019 Suzi released an album of hard-rockin’ new material “NO CONTROL” - recorded with her son Richard on guitar – and will do more than 100 live shows this year across Europe, Australia and Nth America. The beat goes on.


ABOUT THE FILM

Before Suzi Quatro burst on the music world in 1973, there were almost no women in rock, and absolutely none who played bass and sang lead vocals and led the band and rocked out and reached millions of people around the world, re-writing the rule book for the expected image of women in rock & roll.

Singer, songwriter, bass player, bandleader, actress, radio-presenter, poet – there is only one Suzi Q, the pint-sized, leather-clad rocker who has sold more than 50 million records and in 2019 released a new album, celebrating 53 years as a working musician.


SUZI Q - A Feature Documentary by Liam Firmager


FEATURING :

ALICE COOPER

DEBORAH HARRY

TINA WEYMOUTH

CHERIE CURRIE

KATHY VALENTINE
KT TUNSTALL 

DON POWELL

HENRY WINKLER

ANDY SCOTT

DONITA SPARKS

WENDY JAMES

JOAN JETT

CLEM BURKE

PATTI QUATRO

LITA FORD

JOHN NORWOOD FISHER

CHRIS FRANZ

MIKE CHAPMAN

TOBY MAMIS

RODNEY BINGENHEIMER

LEN TUCKEY


For 4 and a half years, Australian filmmakers Liam Firmager and Tait Brady have been working on this feature documentary about legendary rocker Suzi Quatro, inspired by her lengthy career and fearless character, and fueled by a sense that Suzi's trailblazing status wasn't sufficiently recognised by the music industry and contemporary audiences -
especially in North America.


Along the way, SUZI Q has become revisionist history of "women in rock'n'roll",

and an intimate insight into a driven, ageless performer.



SCREEN AUSTRALIA in association with FILM VICTORIA, PALSTAR ENTERTAINMENT,

LA ROSA PRODUCTIONS and LABEL DISTRIBUTION present an ACME FILM COMPANY PRODUCTION “SUZI Q”

Music Coordinator BERNARD GALBALLY Archive Coordinator LISA SAVAGE

Sound Design EMMA BORTIGNON Sound Supervisor PAUL SHANAHAN Editors SARA EDWARDS,

LIAM FIRMMAGER Cinematographer LIAM FIRMAGER

Executive Producers STEPHANIE STEVENSON, JASON BYRNE, SHAUN MILLER, ADAM LA ROSA

Producers TAIT BRADY and LIAM FIRMAGER Director LIAM FIRMAGER


98mins

2019

Australia

DCP/16:9/2K/ 5.1 surround sound


THE ACME FILM COMPANY in association with PALSTAR ENTERTAINMENT, SCREEN AUSTRALIA, FILM VICTORIA and LABEL DISTRIBUTION present “SUZI Q” Music Coordinator BERNARD GALBALLY/MANA MUSIC Archive Coordinator LISA SAVAGE Sound Design EMMA BORTIGNON Editor SARA EDWARDS Cinematographer LIAM FIRMAGER Executive Producers STEPHANIE STEVENSON, JASON BYRNE, SHAUN MILLER Producers TAIT BRADY and LIAM FIRMAGER Director LIAM FIRMAGER


Australian Distribution : LABEL www.labeldistribution.com

Intl Sales : KEW Media www.kewmedia.com

Sunday, August 11, 2019

8/12/19 @9:45am pst - Janeane spoke with Jeff Karram and Millán Ludeña about their film, From Core to Sun


AN ORDINARY MAN, STOPPING AT NOTHING, TO FULFILL HIS DREAM



FROM CORE TO SUN

NOW AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL PLATFORMS

LISTEN to today's conversation with
Jeff Karram and 
Millán Ludeña


“When we break through our own limits, we reach the extraordinary.”


-- Millán Ludeña

Millán Ludeña, a normal guy with a big dream, embarks on an adventure to do something that no other human being on the planet has done and to register a Guinness World Record ®in its process.

We live each moment of Millán’s adventure starting from the intense logistical planning to the physical and mental challenges that he faces throughout this incredible journey of connecting the two most extreme points on the planet. He plans to do this by running a half marathon inside the deepest part of the world, the Mponeng Mine (3,563M below the earth’s surface) in South Africa and then traveling back to his home country to run a half marathon towards the closest point to the sun on the planet, the peak of Mt.Chimborazo (6,280M). The plan is to do all of this in less than 80 hours.


FROM CORE TO SUN is an inspirational story that shows us that when we defy our own limits and break through them, we achieve the most extraordinary things while chasing our dreams and never giving up.

This feature length documentary is directed by Oliver Lee Garland, written by Garland and Carolina Sosa and produced by Jeff Karram and Shanna Robalino, and is a Levector Films production, sponsored by Güitig. It has a running time of 97 minutes and will not be rated by the MPAA. Gravitas Ventures has released the film digitally worldwide.


Güitig is launching an exclusive trip giveaway with Metropolitan Touring to the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador for one week. The contest will be available for submissions until August. The trip includes a 5 day cruise in Galapagos, 3 nights in Quito, a day trip to Machachi - home to Güitig's volcanic water - and a visit to Mt. Cotopaxi. All of these experiences will be with film's star, Millán Ludeña. For more info, go to:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDMxdii5SG4

To view the trailer, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chwdC0koypM&feature=youtu.be

For more info, go to: https://fromcoretosun.com/

8/12/19 @ 9:30am pst - Janeane spoke with author Lisa Braver Moss, a survivor of childhood domestic violence


LISTEN to today's conversation with featured guest Lisa Braver Moss

Lisa Braver Moss is a survivor of childhood domestic violence who lives in the Bay Area, is celebrating the release of her new book, “Shrug,” published on Aug. 13 by She Writes Press.

The novel follows a Vietnam War-era teen whose family life is just as chaotic as the anti-war protests filling the streets of her hometown. While writing the story, Lisa drew on her own experience as a survivor of domestic violence who came of age in Berkeley during the seismic ’60s to craft the novel’s lead, Martha, who develops a nervous tic (a shrug of the shoulder) while waging a private rebellion as her peers take part in a very public, nationwide movement.

Here are a few topics she will discuss:


  • Her experience as a survivor of childhood domestic abuse and how it informed her writing of “Shrug”
  • The question of whether, and to what extent, it is possible to break free of childhood abuse
  • Why so many survivors of childhood domestic violence blame themselves
  • How a difficult home situation, in a turbulent time and place, can affect reading and learning
ABOUT SHRUG

It's Berkeley in the 1960s, and Martha Goldenthal's home life is a cauldron of kooky ideas, impossible demands, and explosive physical violence. Can she overcome her obstacles and make it to college? Shrug is the absorbing, harrowing, and ultimately uplifting story of one young woman’s journey toward independence.

“As persuasive as the memoirs Educated and The Glass Castle, Shrug yanks at the heartstrings . . . I felt white-knuckled empathy for the tough and fragile Martha.” — Carolyn McVickar Edwards, author of Return of the Lightand The Storyteller's Goddess


“A book that slowly creeps up on you before grabbing you by the throat and
demanding that you pay attention . . . I highly recommend this read.”


— Grant Leishman, Readers’ Favorite

"Gripping from beginning to end, this beautifully written work is impossible to put down.” — The BookLife Prize

8/12/19 at 9:15am pst - Debut novel from former officer, Mark Bergin, battles real world issue of police suicide


Bergin's nearly 30 year career in law enforcement brought him close to a difficult and often overlooked issue in American culture: police suicide. Currently, more police officers are lost to suicide than to conflicts in the line of duty. Bergin brings awareness to this issue in his debut work, “Apprehension” (Inkshares/Quill, July 30, 2019) and has plans to donate a portion of his sales directly to the National Police Suicide Foundation.

“Apprehension” follows the story of Detective John Kelly; he was a pro until his niece was murdered right before his eyes. His family says he failed her, but Kelly can’t share his one shocking, secret – and criminal – act of vengeance. Now, fellow detectives digging in another case can end Kelly’s career and send him to jail. Kelly must ignore this looming threat and focus on protecting a boy from his pedophile father in a slam-dunk trial. Except the hotshot defense attorney is his new girlfriend Rachel Cohen, who hides her duty to destroy him on the stand. While his friends work in secret to save him, Kelly is forced to the breaking point.

Kirkus Reviews calls Bergin “A gritty and authentic new voice in police fiction.”


In an interview, MARK BERGIN will discuss:
  • How his background in law enforcement shaped the novel’s plot
  • How his background as a crime reporter has influenced his writing style
  • The issue of police stress, depression, and suicide, why it’s so prevalent, and what can be done to help
  • Why he chose to give away a portion of the profits from book sales to the National Police Suicide Foundation
  • How we can better unite law enforcement and the community at large
ABOUT MARK BERGIN

MARK BERGIN: is a man of many hats who worked at separate times as both an award-winning crime reporter and police officer. When he worked for the Alexandria Gazette, he was awarded the Virginia Press Association First Place prize for general news reporting in 1985. As a law enforcement officer, he won the Alexandria Sunrise Optimist Club’s Police Officer of the Year award in 1988 and was named Alexandria Kiwanis Club’s Officer of the Year in 1997. Bergin’s diverse background with nearly 30 years spent in law enforcement affords him the “authentic voice” in police fiction that Kirkus Reviews and others are buzzing about. To learn more about Mark and his work visit


www.markberginwriter.com.

8/12/19 9am pst Leslie La Page, President and Director of the LA Femme Film Festival joined Janeane live on KUCI 88.9fm

LISTEN to today's conversation with 
featured guest Leslie La Page

For the past fifteen years Leslie La Page has produced, directed and line produced for Film, TV, Music Videos, commercials and Theatrical productions.


Ms. La Page has produced features nationally and internationally in both the independent and commercial markets.

Ms. La Page has over eight years of production background in independent films, and has served as producer, line producer and film production coordinator on numerous independent feature films for independent production companies as well as Black Entertainment Television Action Pay Per View (BET). While at BET she line produced their entire slate of original programs which aired on their network and received international and domestic video releases. She line produced commercials and promos for the HBO, Lifetime TV and BET, MTV and Nickelodeon.


Her production experience also involves her in the areas of marketing, developing scripts, creating promotional copy as well as promotional feature spots and trailers.


In 1997 Ms. La Page ran and operated TIGER’S EYE SOUND a dialogue editorial company, with her partner Bruce Murphy, editing and working with numerous awarding winning dialogue editors and editing over 20 independent feature films in the company’s first year. Ms. La Page and TIGER’S EYE SOUND dialogue edited such critically acclaimed films as: 1998 Academy Awards Nominee, Best Foreign Film – “Four Days in September”; 1998 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for “Smoke Signals”; and the film “Dead Man’s Curve” was a Sundance Film Festival Invitee.


In 2003, her Partner Saul Stein, Co-Executive Producer of “The Holy Land” has formed BooYah! Films and have released through Cavu Pictures the critically acclaimed film “The Holy Land”, which opened domestically in July at the Angelica Theatre in New York City and will be rolling out to 45 cities across the nation. She still has her production company Infinity Films which is involved in feature film, music video, and commercial productions.


Ms. La Page also consults independent filmmakers for feature films, script analysis, budgets, independent marketing, and film festivals and currently teaches at the New York Film Academy as an adjunct professor.


She has been a Slamdance Film Festival Programmer for over five years and was the creator and Executive Producer for the Slamdance Filmmaker’s Bootcamp. Ms. LaPage held the position of Director of Programming for the New Orleans Media Experience Film Festival (NOME 2003) in Louisiana. She currently teaches and is the Founder/Director of the LA Femme International Film Festival. She teaches at Columbia College Hollywood as and adjunct professor classes in Film and Entertainment.

Ms. La Page holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, Bachelor of Administration in certificates in Marketing, Accounting and a Master of Fine Arts in Film Directing from the California Institute of the Arts.






About the LA Femme International Film Festival


LA Femme International Film Festival is a premier festival, listed as one of the 10 best festivals to attend, which focuses on platforming women filmmakers “content by women for global audiences". Our Festival was created in 2005, when it became apparent that there was a need to enhance women behind the camera as Directors, Producers, and Writers.


As LA Femme moves into the it's fifteenth (15 ) year of programing, it plans to expand its platform so that more women in the industry and from around the world can have the benefit of taking their film to the next level through increased distribution outlets, more key positions in the entertainment industry and more recognition as artistic creators emerging as leaders in the industry.


Our goal is to remain a step ahead through exemplary programming, networking, and panel events. A classic professional atmosphere will create a sense of ‘opportunity’ for participants. LA Femme International Film Festival is “By Women for Everyone.”


Our categories include: features, documentaries, shorts, animation, music videos, commercials, web series, screenplays and tv pilot teleplays.


There is something for everyone.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

8/5/19 @9:30am pst - Peace Activist & Author of The Fox Hunt, Mohammed AL Samawi, joined Janeane on KUCI 88.9fm



LISTEN to today's conversation with
featured guest Mohammed AL Samawi

"A gripping account of terror and escape.” — New York Times Book Review

The Fox Hunt tells one young man’s unforgettable story of his harrowing escape from Yemen's brutal civial war with the help of a daring plan engineered on social media by a small group of interfaith activists in the West.

WINNER: 2019 NAUTILUS BOOK AWARDS • A 2019 NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARDS FINALIST 


WATCH how Mohammed escaped death through the power of FACEBOOK.



Mohammed will speak about:

  • The Refugee Crisis Across the Middle East: How This Crisis Began, What Steps Can We Take
  • Building Bridges: Interfaith Dialogue Across the Islam, Jewish, and Christian Communities
  • Islamophobia and Antisemitism
  • Middle East Policy
  • Overcoming Disabilities
  • Youth Empowerment
  • Collaboration and Teamwork to Accomplish the Impossible
  • Mohammed AL Samawi
  • Peace Activist & Author of The Fox Hunt

Born in the Old City of Sana’a, Yemen, to a pair of middle-class doctors, Mohammed Al Samawi was a devout Muslim raised to think of Christians and Jews as his enemy. But when Mohammed was twenty-three, he secretly received a copy of the Bible, and what he read cast doubt on everything he’d previously believed. After connecting with Jews and Christians on social media, and at various international interfaith conferences, Mohammed became an activist, making it his mission to promote dialogue and cooperation in Yemen.

Then came the death threats: first on Facebook, then through terrifying anonymous phone calls. To protect himself and his family, Mohammed fled to the southern port city of Aden. He had no way of knowing that Aden was about to become the heart of a north-south civil war, and the battleground for a well-funded proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. As gunfire and grenades exploded throughout the city, Mohammed hid in the bathroom of his apartment and desperately appealed to his contacts on Facebook.

Miraculously, a handful of people he barely knew responded. Over thirteen days, four ordinary young people with zero experience in diplomacy or military exfiltration worked across six technology platforms and ten time zones to save this innocent young man trapped between deadly forces— rebel fighters from the north and Al Qaeda operatives from the south.

The story of an improbable escape as riveting as the best page-turning thrillers, The Fox Hunt reminds us that goodness and decency can triumph in the darkest circumstances.Mohammed AL Samawi is an interfaith activist, a refugee from Yemen and author of The Fox Hunt: A Refugee’s Memoir of Coming to America (William Morrow), which shares the moving story of love, war, and hope in which he recounts his harrowing personal transformation from a traditionalist to an interfaith activist, and how he escaped the brutal civil war in Yemen with the help of a daring plan engineered on social media by a small group of Facebook friends in the West. The Fox Hunt is a 2019 Nautilus Book Awards winner and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Awards.

Over thirteen days, four ordinary young people with zero experience in international diplomacy or military exfiltration worked across six technology platforms and ten time zones to save this innocent young man trapped between deadly forces—rebel fighters supported by Iran and AL Qaeda operatives supported by Saudi Arabia. The story of an improbable escape as riveting as the best page-turning thrillers, Fox Hunt is also an unforgettable story of compassion, friendship, faith and redemption. Like I Am Malala, A Long Walk Gone, and The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, it sheds light on events roiling the world, and offers hope and inspiration, reminding us that goodness and decency can triumph in the darkest circumstances.

“La La Land” producer Marc Platt and Josh Singer, who won an Academy Award for best original screenplay “Spotlight, are developing the movie “The Fox Hunt,” based on AL Samawi’s memoir.

Sharing his powerful story across the globe, AL Samawi has addressed audiences from religious organizations to schools and universities to humanitarian and global groups.

In 2019, AL Samawi launched the Abrahamic House, a multi-faith incubator for social change with a mission to build sustainable interfaith learning and action across Muslim, Jewish, Bahai and Christian communities in order to foster an environment of respect, justice, and social change. Previously AL Samawi worked for several NGOs, including Oxfam and World Relief; he also worked as a freelance researcher for Boehncke Information Technology GmbH for more than two years. In those capacities, he authored more than 30 studies and reports about Yemen, and reported extensively on Sudan, including Darfur.

Currently he resides in Florida.


Praise for Mohammed AL Samawi:

"Students were mesmerized and inspired by Mohammed’s story of escaping Al Qaeda and fleeing Yemen. Through his story, we learned about the history of Yemen, the complexity of interfaith issues, and the ongoing refugee crisis in the Middle East. Our series regularly features icons and changemakers in business, the arts, sports, and philanthropy. Mohammed is among the most compelling speakers we’ve hosted and the students loved him."
--David Belasco, Executive Director & Adjunct Professor, Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, University of Southern California

“Mohammed has led a remarkable life in which he himself has transformed into a global ambassador for peace. His ability to communicate his experience both inside and outside his home country of Yemen has been inspiring and enlightening for us all. We are fortunate that his enduring determination to help build peace in the Middle East is matched by his eloquence in sharing his personal story”
--Aileen Getty, Aileen Getty Foundation

“Despite my 25-plus years in international affairs, including substantial work on issues confronting the Middle East and North Africa, I have learned life-changing lessons from Mohamed Alsamawi. Mohamed Alsamawi can speak in concrete terms of both the best hopes and the worst inhumanities that plague the region and the roles -- both positive and negative -- of governments, civil society and of individuals who have the courage to question and learn. His deep humanity, generosity and ready humor will open eyes everywhere to what his own life reflects -- intolerance and fear of “others” debases and endangers us all, whereas recognizing and strengthening individual and community bonds across all borders (physical, cultural, social, ethnic and religious) makes life far better and more productive. Not only is it possible to radically change perspectives, but it is possible to develop trust and adopt inclusive, creative approaches that help solve the world’s most challenging problems.
--Anne Pence , Covington & Burling LLP

“Mohammed Al-Samawi gave a poignant, moving account of his escape from war-torn Yemen, during the NYC Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee’s 1st Annual Iftar in a Synagogue in 2015. The event was Mohammed’s first NYC speaking engagement and he captivated our community; many members still discuss his impact two years later. His story of how a global network of peace activists from different cultures and religions helped him escape death resonated deeply with all attendees. We are honored to work with Mohammed Al-Samawi and encourage all to listen to his story.”
--Michelle Koch and Zena Schulman, NYC Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee

“The Persian Gulf Institute (PGI) is grateful for the invaluable insights Mohammed Al Samawi has brought to the conversation on Yemen's current crisis and the affairs of the broader region. At PGI's recent panel discussion on Yemen, Mr. Al Samawi offered both an insightful geopolitical analysis of the current conflict and an important local perspective on the war's human toll. Mr. Al Samawi's remarkable personal experiences make him a unique expert on his home country.”
--Robert Bon, Persian Gulf Institute

“Mohammed's extraordinary story from Yemen to the U.S. captures not only the power of interfaith cooperation, but also the human condition at its finest. In his talks, Mohammed showcases the rare ability to sense where an audience is starting from, drawing them into an inspiring and fulfilling journey. Along the way, he mixes in his unique humor, charm and grace. If we are to build peace in the Middle East, we must listen to Mohammed's story.”
--Steven Olikara, Founder and President of Millennial Action Project