Multi-Talented Presenter- Andrew Bernard

Extreme Makeover UK's Andrew Bernard

Extreme Makeover UK’s Andrew Bernard

Andrew Bernard has 322 acting gigs and another 351 presenter roles under his belt. He is the popular host of Extreme Makeover being aired on the Sky Channel along with lead roles in several other commercials on that same network. Andrew’s main asset is his voice which he uses to further his freelance business as a corporate commercial advertiser. He is the voice for many video commercials that are aired in the United Kingdom, Singapore and Poland. The English-bred presenter knew he wanted to pursue a career in media after copping several minor roles in commercials. He worked his way up the rungs of TV and theatre production by attending the Central School of Speech and Drama and Actors Centre in London. At the end of his professional training he had acquired new skills to include competently carrying out the Meisner Acting method and improvising.

Improvising is very important in the unpredictable media environment since it is expected that all bad things can happen at one time. Luckily for Andrew, he is always prepared for a live presentation on television or radio. His natural vocal strength makes it a pleasure to listen to his productions. His most popular theatrical appearances includes Frankenstein in the Panto in which he played the scary Dracula character, Moulin Rouge where he played Harold Zeiggler and the Fleet’s Inn in which he played the Principal. Some of Andrew’s biggest commercial clients include Prudential Insurance, Handy Pad, Tron Direct, the Sun Paper, the US-based Armani, Royal Bank of Scotland and Danbar Games.

Andrew also has a hidden sportsman personality since he will spend his days riding through the thick bush in a robust farm tractor. He is fond of exhilarating car or motorcycle racing sessions. Andrew enjoys horseback riding, clay pigeon shooting, archery, tennis, basketball and all water sports.

 

 

 

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International acting talent George Asenov

Bulgaria's George Asenov

Bulgaria’s George Asenov

George Asenov, a brilliant actor from Sofia, Bulgaria has made a name for himself, both in his native Bulgaria, and in the United States.

As a child Asenov always dreamt of hitting the big screen, a dream which would soon become a reality. His passion for acting led him to Bulgaria’s National Academy of Theatre and Film Art where he was admitted after his first audition. After graduating from the academy he landed a starring role in the play “The Zoo Story” by Edward Albee. George’s performance was such a success that film and theatre offers poured in from every direction. This actor considers legends like Al Pacino, Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins as his source of inspiration. His work on the film ‘Keep Walking’ made the production a major hit, which in turn led to the film being voted number one at the National Academy of Theatre and Film Art.

George was extremely successful on the Bulgarian theatre circuit, however his desire to incorporate more filmwork into his repertoire eventually led him to Los Angeles where he found further success in the American theatre with leading roles in the productions of “Waiting for Lefty”, “Glengarry Glen Ross” and “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.” George cites Glengarry Glen Ross as his favorite role in the U.S.  Playing a vulnerable elderly real estate salesman coming to the end of his professional career was a different kind of role for George who often plays very bold characters. In the play, George’s passive character is a scapegoat for his co-workers who repeatedly manipulate him for personal gain. George’s performance in the role was so moving that it brought audience members to tears.

Currently George is entertaining two feature film offers, in addition to a long list of stage offers in New York.

Make sure to keep an eye out for George Asenov!

 

 

Alan Brown’s smash hit ‘Freedom Dance’ coming soon

Lucinda Jubb in 'Freedom Dance'

Lucinda Jubb in ‘Freedom Dance’

Independent film is often the place where the majority of cutting edge, exploratory, and exciting movies originate from. Without the watchful eyes of a brand, Hollywood business, or stakeholders looking over the director’s shoulder, it is possible for brilliant scripts, incredible actors, and visionary directors to come together and make something beautiful – and once again, Alan Brown is at the thick of it.

His latest project is a film called Freedom Dance. In some ways a sequel to his 2009 film Diamond Ice’d, which he also wrote, Alan Brown is further exploring the realms of the criminal underworld. Starring James Harrison, Peter Dean, and Julia van Ellis (all three of which also featured in Diamond Ice’d), Freedom Dance is a film that unusually features two female characters as the leads: Jane and Susan.

It is widely known that film and television are in desperate need of films that do not rely on men to carry the narrative, and in Freedom Dance, that is exactly what happens. Jane, the daughter of a man inexplicably part of the criminal underworld, appears at first to be the lead protagonist, and indeed the only female within the film. However, the entrance of Susan, the lead played by Lucinda Jubb, immediately juxtaposes the two characters are equal, and yet opposite, female forces within the confusing world that envelops the audience.

The character of Susan initially befriends Jane, but in the confusing and conflicting world that they are inhabiting, it is almost impossible to tell exactly who your friends and who your enemies are. The journey that both lead characters go on run almost parallel, but so far apart that it leaves the viewers of Freedom Dance with the difficulty of deciding who they trust, who they believe, and who they like.

After filming that began in 2012 in London finished this month, there is a great deal of excitement and anticipation for the release of Freedom Dance. Unfortunately for fans, although the cameras have wrapped up, there is currently no release date to look forward to, but when this film is released, it is certain that the critics will be very interested to see how the dynamic of two female protagonists acts out on the stage of Freedom Dance.

Popular middle eastern filmmaker Rima Naim

Filmmaker- Rima Naim

Filmmaker- Rima Naim

Rima Naim is one of the most dynamic female filmmakers working in the Middle East today.  Growing up between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, Rima’s initial exposure to the magical world of films was limited due to strict governmental controls, but the one movie theater that did exist in her city, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia was enough to spark her imagination and start her on a successful path of film and television production.

One of Rima’s early professional assignments was working as the right hand of Lebanese director MazenFayad, who is one of the best known producers of television commercials in all of Lebanon.  Rima picked up quickly and was soon making decisions and providing essential input into Mr. Fayad’s productions.  One of the music videos the pair directed,Aa Bali Habibi by popstar and X Factor Middle East judge Elissa reached more than 9 million views, a stunning feat for the region. The news of the brilliant beauty working in television production quickly reached AbboudAyyach, the CEO of Made in Saudi Films, the largest production company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  The media mogul instantly took a liking to Rima and her work, and hired her on as the Executive Producer of several important television commercials for clients such as Saudi government, as well as corporate videos for Ikea, one of the company’s largest corporate accounts. She is also currently working on a documentary for Made in Saudi Films that chronicles the construction of the highest flag in the world, which is currently under construction in Jeddah.

After graduating with a Masters Degree from the prestigious New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, California, Rima landed an impressive list of film and music video productions in the U.S.  working in a multitude of capacities – from Executive Producer, to Director, to Assistant Director, to Stage Designer, and beyond.  Her film ‘The Successor of Katunga’, an African fairy tale, was awarded at numerous U.S. film festivals; her film ‘napkins’ is lauded as a “midwestern U.S. classic”; the music videos she directed for Indian artist Jaymo, as well as Lebanese superstar Nima, have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times by fans around the world, as well as the “Broken Dreams” video Rima did for Russian popstar Irson Kudikova.  Rima’s next scheduled film release is the ‘The Tsarevich’, which is the heretofore untold story of the last emperor of Russia, starring Mark Moses (of Desperate Housewives and Mad Men fame).

Though Rima has proven that she has all the skill and talent to excel alongside others, her brilliance becomes obvious when one sees her original works.  She is well-known for her experimental use of visual techniques, and for her portrayal of strong female characters. When Rima is at the reins of a film, she prefers to tell stories about the lives of women.  Her films Milena,Breathe, and Nothing Happened all star strong female leading characters dealing with love, loss, abuse and other struggles.Each of these films will be on the festival circuit in 2014and 2015.

It is an understatement to say that the film industry in the Middle East is a “boys’ club”.  Many cultural and religious practices pose difficulties for women to work in the challenging field, which require long hours and working in close physical proximity, but Rima has managed to overcome these obstacles with grace and style.  Though she cites directors Paul Thomas Anderson, David Lynch, Godard and Agnes Varda as some of her inspirations, Rima has shown herself to be a true trailblazer, lighting a path for other female filmmakers to follow.

It was only last year that the first feature length film directed by a Saudi woman, Haifaa Al Mansour, was released in Saudi Arabia.  Will Rima Naim be the second woman to release a film in the kingdom?  This reporter will be eagerly waiting to see.