Industry News: Amazon, Stonewall, Jalopnik Films

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Valerie Madden Joins Amazon Studios: 

Valerie Madden, long active in the pursuit of LGBT rights and visibility, is the new senior director of Art & Creative for Original Series at Amazon Studios in Santa Monica. Madden has served on the Outfest board of directors, and previously held leadership roles on diversity projects at NBCUniversal. Her most recent role has been as Chief Creative Officer of Design, Marketing & Advertising at VM Cre8tive.
Throughout her career, Madden has left her mark on numerous prime-time and syndicated TV shows from NBC, HBO, NBC, CBS, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Paramount and Sony Pictures.

West Coast Premiere of ‘Hit the Wall’ Recreates Stonewall Riots

Ike Holter was in 5th grade when he heard that a group of New York drag queens, fed up with the harassment by law enforcement, ignited the Stonewall Riots of 1969. What happened that June night at the gay bar called the Stonewall Inn is still commemorated annually in “Gay Pride” events all over the country.

Holter, a member of a Chicago company of artists known as the Inconvenience, is the writer behind “Hit the Wall,” a recreation of the Stonewall riots through the eyes of 10 characters, playing this weekend through Oct. 25 in the Davidson/Valentini Theatre at the LA LGBT Center.

Called an “immersive theater experience,” the rousing play is directed by Ken Sawyer, and produced by The Center’s Jon Imparato and Adam Silver of Sixth Avenue.

The cast includes Jason Caceres, Burt Grinstead, Charlotte Guzelian, Matthew Hancock, Kristina Johnson, Roland Ruiz, Shoniqua Shandai, Adam Silver, Donnie Smith and Blake Young-Fountain. Original music is by Anna Waronker (That Dog) and Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Gos).
For more information: http://www.lalgbtcenter.org/hit_the_wall

Movies and Miatas at Jalopnik Film Festival

The Jalopnik Film Festival will kick off on Friday, Sept. 26, at the Santa Monica Airport’s Barker Hangar with a gala screening of Adam Carolla’s new documentary “Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman,” followed by a Q&A with Carolla and an after-party. Prior to the screening there will be an exclusive Ride & Drive Experience with the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

On Saturday a mix of new documentaries and narrative films will screen at the Ace Hotel in Downtown L.A., including Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt’s “Havana Motor Club,” which celebrates Cuba’s racing culture, a screening of “Steve McQueen: The Man and Le Mans,” a documentary chronicling the late actor’s passion for racing, directed by Gabriel Clarke and John McKenna, and a screening of Daniel Junge’s “Being Evel,” a documentary about legendary daredevil Evel Knievel, featuring appearances by Johnny Knoxville, Tony Hawk, George Hamilton, and the late Frank Gifford.

Movie buffs can also catch rare big-screen showings of two epic car-chase fan favorites, George Miller’s original “Mad Max” and John Frankenheimer’s “Ronin,” along with Luke Huxham’s “In Loving Memory,” a look at the famous (and deadly) Isle of Man TT motorcycle race, and a sneak preview of “The Smoking Tire’s All Cars Go to Heaven: Volume Two.”

Discussing this year’s fest and the move to Los Angeles, Jalopnik Editor-in-Chief Matt Hardigree said it’s, “a dream to bring the festival to Los Angeles, where car culture meets film culture and the weather is always great.”

Mazda Marketing VP Russell Wager adds: “Los Angeles is the perfect combination of cars and cinema, and we’re looking forward to showcasing the new Mazda MX-5 for their audiences.”

Friday’s Ride & Drive experience, from 4-7 p.m., will feature an opportunity to get behind the wheel of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 with Jalopnik editors, pro drivers and a surprise guest. Reservations required for the Ride & Drive. Visit http://films.jalopnik.com/

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