Play Freerice and feed the hungry

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Viber Welcomes The Year of the Goat with a New Sticker Pack

Users Can Now Share Fun Chinese New Year Stickers with Family and Friends to Celebrate the Spring Festival

Viber, the leading OTT communications app offering free messaging and HD-quality calls, is joining in the festivities of the Lunar New Year. A specially designed sticker pack is now available to download, featuring a brand new sticker character as we enter the Year of the Goat. Considered the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar because of its rich cultural heritage and history, the Lunar New Year is centuries old and celebrated by over a billion of people worldwide.


The ‘Happy 羊 Year’ pack - Happy Goat Year - features 16 vibrant stickers which celebrate everything about Chinese New Year and the festive season. Each sticker reflects key celebrations and traditions observed by Chinese communities during the Spring Festival. This pack is for Chinese communities around the world as well as anyone (or Nationality - eg Thais - to be inserted per market) who wants to wish their (Chinese - to be inserted per market) friends a marvelous new year. From special greetings and hong bao giving (and receiving!) to sharing messages of prosperity, there is something for everyone – the perfect way to spread the Lunar New Year vibes.

Viber provides a new way to enjoy the celebrations with loved ones far and near. The Chinese New Year pack offers greetings in multiple languages including Mandarin, Cantonese and English. The red and gold pack has plenty of stickers embodying some of the key customs. Send greetings with red lanterns, fireworks and dragon dances to ward off evil at the start of the Lunar New Year. Wish prosperity and abundance by sharing gold, red envelopes and money trees with your loved ones. Finally, as the family gathers for New Year’s Eve dinner, why not send stickers to tell absent friends that you miss them – choose from the famous new year cake, oranges for prosperity, or dumplings representing the full moon and symbolizing the family unit and perfection.

The Chinese New Year sticker pack is now available to download from the Viber sticker market for free.

For more updates on Viber, visit www.facebook.com/viberph, www.twitter.com/viberph, and www.instagram.com/viberph.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Let's all join Engr. Grace Nicolas and Marketing Director of Victoria Court, Ms. Tanya Llana this Saturday, February 7, 2015, 4PM to 5PM for DZME 1530 'Let's Talk About Career' segment as they talk about the booming hotel industry.


Grace Nicolas

Tim Burton discusses a larger than life film ‘Big Eyes’


Tim Burton is a bit like the character he creates in his movies—whimsical, highly animated, and quite appealing in a quirky kind of way and larger- than- life.

His latest movie ‘Big Eyes’, opens on February 25, across the Philippines!


In Manhattan, Burton’s hair and beard were a bit scraggly, and he spoke with his hands waving in the air. It is clear: he is passionate about three aspects of his life: his films, his art and his family.

Among his unique movies, most with a strong cult following, are, Batman, Batman Returns, Mars Attacks, Sleepy Hollow, Ed Wood, Big Fish and Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Burton has creatively directed from his vivid imagination numerous darkly-themed children’s movies, including: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, Frankenweenie, and Alice in Wonderland.

Big Eyes, from The Weinstein Company, is the biographical drama film directed by Tim Burton.

The film focuses on Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz), an artist known in the 1950s and 60s for his kitsch paintings of large-eyed waifs and his then-wife Margaret Keane, (Amy Adams).

The film tells the outrageous true story of their heated divorce battle wherein Margaret accused her husband, Walter, of stealing her paintings. The bazaar and shocking truth would later be discovered: Walter did not create any of the art work, but instead his wife did, and the Keane’s had been living a colossal lie that had fooled the entire world.

The movie is too incredible to be fiction, and focuses on Margaret’s awakening as an artist, the success of her paintings and her tumultuous relationship with her husband , who was catapulted to international fame while taking credit for her work.

The script was written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, the screenwriters behind Ed Wood, and is based in Los Angeles. In 2003, they began researching the story that would take 10 years to become a film.

“There were a lot of reasons why we wanted to make this movie,” Karaszewski explained. “We thought that Margaret was a great female character that embodied the beginning of the Women’s Movement. It stars with her as a 1950s housewife, who does everything for her husband. Through the course of the story, she learns to stand up for herself.”

Burton has long been involved with Helena Bonham Carter, and they have two children: a son Billy Raymond, 11, and a daughter, Nell,7.

Please talk about approaching this story of Big Eyes as a parent?

I don’t know if that has everything to do with it for me. I mean, I came at strangely, from growing up in that era. Because growing up in that era and understanding the cultures that I grew up in, it was sort of the end of the American Dream. And that kind of idea.

How so?

The sort of the idea of this dysfunctional couple coming together. And ..creating these mutant children! It just felt like my family! You know, it just felt like of like this sort of…So it had this strange, so I sort of came at it in this strange way. But you know..I’ll never show this film to my children! I’ll show ém Sleepy Hollow, Sweeney Todd. But not this one!

What grabbed your attention about these actors [Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz] you chose for your new Tim Burton universe, Big Eyes?

It was just fresh energy for me to work with these new people. And uh, because you know

everybody’s been getting sick of the people I was working with! And, I know. It’s sad, isn’t! And I showed up occasionally, yes!

I am sure you were there more than that. Please talk about your attention to those Keane paintings?

I found them fascinating, but quite disturbing, actually! Like Big Brother watching you –those big eyes. And the sort of polarized responses to it. Some people love it, obviously. And some people just wanted to…rip it off the walls! So that kind of response is what I found quite fascinating.

How did this project come about, between you and the writers –Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski?


We were actually working in parallel! universes! Because I didn’t know that the screenwriters were writing a script! And I knew Keane’s work, because I grew up with it. But I didn’t know the real story. And a friend of mine told me the story. And went to San Francisco and met Margaret Keane. And I commissioned a painting from her. Then I don’t know how long after that, but we had done Ed Wood together. And they approached me about doing this movie.

Were you drawn at all to Margaret Keane because of your own personal experiences, in a Hollywood movie industry dominated by business interest over art?

Well, yes. I mean; that’s why I enjoyed Ed Wood, because to me, there’s a fine line. Or it’s perceived as good and bad. And you know; I’ve been through that myself. You know, when they had that MOMA [The Museum of Metropolitan Art in New York] show her, the critics… It was

about 100 times worse than Keane! You know what I mean?

Then what happened?

It got so lambasted. And at the same time …it had a high attendance rate! So I’ve experienced that kind of thing, of like good and bad. Because when you do something, you’re very passionate about it. Whether it’s Ed Wood or the Keane’s , you know, there’s just such enthusiasm. And they thought they were making probably like..Michelangelo! As Ed Wood thought he was making Star Wars. You know, when he was making Plan 9 From Outer Space! So you understand that kind of misguided enthusiasm. And then you sort of understanding the polarization of people’s response to things.

Why do you think the Keane art was not embraced by the psychedelic world by then?

But it was very druggie! You know, big eyes, large pupils. I mean, It’s somehow weirdly fit into that scene! And I always admired Margaret’s high-waisted look!

Why do you think that this film isn’t as dark as your other movie?

For me. you have the time, the era, and you have the paintings. Which suggest something, strange color schemes that are those paintings; part of the vibe of it. And then, just the story. I mean, the relationship between Margaret and Walter and the other characters, in my own mind, it started to feel like a weird sixties, kind of slightly Hitchcock.

Please elaborate—what do you mean by this?

Well, I found myself strangely drawn. I mean; the color scheme just fit the era and the paintings, and the kind of psychological relationship, and feel of the movie. So you know whether it’s black or white or color, you try to support that. And make it a character, in a way.

So just all of those elements made it…what it turned out to be!


The movie is in large part struggle between abstract and popular art, Where do you stand in that struggle personally?

Again, it’s a fascinating thing about people’s perception of art. And you see it today. Either it speaks to you, or it doesn’t. And I think the reason the story really sort of flew under the radar, is that most critics, most people, didn’t really consider it art. So it didn’t hit the major headlines.

Please, tell me more?

You know; it was sort of on the back pages. Whatever. But like I said. I myself have experienced from the very beginning of my career, people loving and hating me. And also, people would say about my movies, ‘Oh it’s so much lighter.’ And at the same time, it’s so much darker. So I found that a sort of juxtaposition. How could something be light, and then other people see it as completely dark. So people’s perceptions of things fascinate me, you know?

Is that how you see the film Big Eyes?

Yes, in that way I think this is perfect story , and an example of that sort of question. And it’s kind of an unanswerable question! It’s just sort of a presentation of that dynamic. But I loved it, because I also hated it! You know what I mean ? There’s something about it like, why would grown people have…images of children hanging in their living room!

It seems like people do that.

I do too!

If you put yourself in Walter Keane’s shoes for minute, what do you think was going on inside his crazy head?

In his version, he was Henry Higgins! She was ElizaDoolittle, and, it was a failed experiment!

BIG EYES” is released and distributed by CAPTIVE CINEMA!

‘Paddington’ Takes Off Casting iconic characters

The cast of PADDINGTON reads as a roll-call of the finest in acting talent, spanning film, television and theatre. Each of the principal cast are recognizable as many an iconic character, to generations both young and old.


Hugh Bonneville (Mr. Brown) is perhaps best known as Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, in the multi-award winning TV drama, “Downton Abbey”. Taking on the role of a father once again in PADDINGTON appealed to Bonneville on several levels. “I remember having the books read to me and then reading them myself and falling in love with them. Paddington is a part of British culture, part of our DNA really. I read the script and saw how much of that DNA is preserved, even though it’s set in a contemporary world”. He continues, “It still has the flavor of the original books, which is so beautifully captured in Paul’s script. There’s also a great deal of humor running though the story – innocent, uproarious slapstick as well as clever wit – which will resonate with everyone, whether you are coming to the story with fresh eyes or as an unashamedly nostalgic parent, like myself.”

As one of the first actors to come on board the project and highly aware of the public's love of the source material, Hugh felt very strongly the need to do justice to Bond's stories - but any initial concerns were very quickly forgotten: “Within about five seconds of meeting Paul and David about PADDINGTON, I was on board. I was struck by how much Paul understood Paddington - he IS Paddington! He is as innocent, wide-eyed and as delightful as our furry friend!”

As Mrs. Brown, the wonderful Sally Hawkins, who was recently nominated for an Academy Award® for her role in Woody Allen’s BLUE JASMINE, effortlessly captures her character’s good nature and inability to resist a cry for help. Being the first to engage with the little bear all alone on the platform of Paddington Station, Mrs. Brown’s family is swept along by her well-meaning actions, regardless of the consequences. Says Rosie Alison of the casting of Sally, “What we love about Sally is that she gives this very grounded performance. She talks to the bear just beautifully, as if he is a living, breathing creature. One believes in her and in turn, in Paddington.”


Says Paul, “Hugh and Sally were a joy to work with. They are both tremendously accomplished writers as well as performers. For someone like me with a background in improvised comedy, it was hugely reassuring to know they wouldn’t feel straight-jacketed by the dialogue, and that together we could breathe life into the characters.” He continues, “Their performances are the bedrock of the film: comic but touching, real yet existing in a world where a talking animal can be accepted. It’s a delicate balance, and they hold it beautifully.”

It’s perhaps every child’s dream to appear in a movie and newcomers Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin, cast as sparring siblings Judy and Jonathan Brown, took the experience in their stride. Through a long winter shoot in and around London, often on location and frequently filming through the night, Maddie and Sam more than matched the stamina of their seasoned co-stars. The strong connection that developed quickly between the fictional family members is evident on screen, as is the fun they clearly had working together.

Bonneville is quick to praise his young co-stars “Maddie and Sam have got fantastic energy and real focus - they’re really on the button.” And he continues, “There is that famous phrase, ‘Never work with children or animals’. Well, I can make an exception in this case.”


With regards to portraying one of the most famous families in British literary history, Bonneville adds, “We had the luxury of three weeks of rehearsal in which Paul was determined that we should not only finesse the script but work on the characters and explore the relationships of the Brown family - which was invaluable. You rarely get to have that. So we had a lot of fun, playing around with the scenes, building up a strong family dynamic, which I hope comes across. The little ebbs and flows of family life are all there.”

Rounding out the Brown household is the eccentric Mrs. Bird, played by Julie Walters. A distant relative who lives with the Browns and runs the household as a very tight ship, Mrs. Bird is strict, but also compassionate - when she needs to be! Worldly-wise, she thinks nothing of a walking, talking bear crossing the threshold of 32 Windsor Garden and turning all of their lives upside down.

Julie confesses to loving the prospect of working on another film which appeals whole-heartedly to the young - and to the young at heart. Certainly, knowing that David Heyman would once again be behind this adaptation must have been reassuring for Julie? “It was lovely to be asked back by David Heyman, because I had such a wonderful time on HARRY POTTER, you know, so it’s a real thrill to work with him again - and he’s a really nice bloke, apart from anything else!”


Along with Mr. Gruber, played by the prolific British actor Jim Broadbent (another HARRY POTTER alumnus) and nosey next door neighbor, Mr. Curry (Peter Capaldi), the Browns are characters as familiar as Paddington himself to the generations of children that have grown up with these stories. However, a 21st century PADDINGTON required a villain that could challenge the most savvy of young audiences. Enter stage left Millicent, the evil taxidermist.

Explains King, "Where Oliver Twist has to survive Fagin and Bill Sykes before he can find peace with Mr. Brownlow, so I wanted an opposition for Paddington, someone who didn’t respond to ‘Please Look After This Bear.’ It struck me that for a young bear, the greatest opposition wasn’t someone who didn’t want him in the house, or even the street, but who felt that a bear only belonged in one place in London – the Natural History Museum!”

From the outset, the desire of all involved was to deliver a PADDINGTON to the big screen for a whole new generation of fans, whilst remaining loyal to Bond's wonderful world.


Amy Adams in eye opening story of Margaret Keane in ‘Big Eyes’


Four-time Academy Award-nominee Amy Adams had read the ‘BIG EYES’ screenplay early on, but she wasn’t prepared to do it at first. “I thought it was very interesting, but I was at a time where I wanted to play really confident characters and wasn’t sure how I would find my way into Margaret.” However, when she next saw the script, things had changed. “I’d become a mother and had a totally different perspective on the character and I understood -- it wasn’t lack of confidence. I was attracted to the story from the beginning, but at the end it was Margaret that I really got pulled into.


Margaret is complicated, like most human beings. She’s definitely a little shyer, and she’s very humble. That’s one of the qualities about her that I think allowed her to be manipulated.” Adams did a lot of research to prepare for the role. “When you have a story that has two very different sides and people who write about it that have different perspectives, it’s really hard to put your finger on what the true story is. I read what Walter said about Margaret, then I read what other people said about her, and there’s not a lot in her own words.” So Adams travelled to San Francisco and spent a day with Margaret Keane at the artist’s gallery. “That was most beneficial, to see this woman and understand that yes, there is this humility, but there’s this strength and this sense of humor. I didn’t want to pry, but I wanted to get an understanding of who she was and how this could have happened. What I came to was her gentle nature.” The actress and the artist spent half a day together. “It makes me nervous when people look at me,” Margaret Keane says, “but she wanted to watch me paint, and she made it painless and was so down to earth. It was wonderful.” Keane was delighted with the casting of Adams, who sports a vintage blonde bob in the picture.


“When I first saw her with the wig on it was a shock. It was like seeing myself 50 years ago! She was absolutely perfect.” While Walter Keane was a fixture on the talk show circuit of the era, Margaret was much more in the shadows. “There’s only a little bit of footage of her,” says Adams, “so I didn’t have a lot to pull on who Margaret was.” So Adams based her performance on the elderly woman she actually met, and, she notes, “In the end, you can really only go with the text because everything else, all of our memories, even of ourselves, are skewed. So going with the text, trying to help tell the story but at the same time being mindful of who she was as a person and what’s important to her now. I talked to her about why she would be willing to tell this story. She is a Jehovah’s Witness and that is why she wants to show that these things can happen in our life but we can find redemption at the end of it and strength within ourselves, so I felt like that gave me permission to tell her story, with my artistic interpretation, while understanding her a little better.”


“Margaret became identified with the big eyes and she was able to express her pain and sadness and her questions. I think that’s why people respond, because there is such an openness and a questioning and a vulnerability and this amazing quality that children have and she’s really able to capture that.” Walter appropriated Margaret’s waif paintings and declared them his own, and they came to be known as the “Keane” paintings. As Margaret developed as an artist, she continued to paint “Keanes” attributed to Walter, but she also created elongated psychological paintings of women, often self-portraits, which she signed MDH Keane and publicly claimed as her own.


‘’BIG EYES” is released and distributed by CAPTIVE CINEMA. FEBRUARY 25. NATIONWIDE!