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Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler

Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler

Will Arnett, Amy Poehler divorce papers filed Couple married in 2003, but has been separated for 18 monthsThe Associated Press Posted: Apr 17, 2014 12:13 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 17, 2014 12:13 AM ETAmy Poehler and Torontonian Will Arnett were married in 2003 and have two sons together. The couple has been separated for 18 months.Related StoriesWill Arnett to be honoured at Banff TV festival Golden Globes 2014: 5 memorable moments Court records show Will Arnett has filed for divorce from Amy Poehler more than 18 months after the comedians announced their separation.Arnett filed a divorce petition in Los Angeles Superior Court on April 8 citing irreconcilable differences. His filing seeks joint custody of the pair's two sons, who are ages three and five.Arnett speaks to Q's Jian Ghomeshi about playing cocky, dumb The actors announced they were separating in September 2012 after nine years of marriage.They were married in 2003 and have maintained successful careers, with Poehler starring in NBC's Parks and Recreation and Arnett starring in CBS's series The Millers.The court filing was first reported Wednesday by People magazine. Report TypoSend Feedback
Fifty Shades, Captain Underpants make list of ‘challenged’ books in U.S.

Fifty Shades, Captain Underpants make list of ‘challenged’ books in U.S.

The potty humour of Captain Underpants children's books and the mature exploration of race and family violence by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison in The Bluest Eye would seem to have little in common.But among some parents, educators and other members of the general public who worry about what books are stocked at their local libraries, the works fall into the same category – they're just too offensive and should be restricted or removed from the shelves.The American Library Association published its annual State of the Libraries report Sunday, which included its list of works most frequently "challenged" last year at schools and libraries.Dav Pilkey's bestselling picture book series topped the list, just as his Captain Underpants did in 2012. The reasons cited included "offensive language" and material unsuited for its targeted age group.The Bluest Eye, Morrison's first novel, was runner-up, also criticized for language, along with violence and sexual content..Sherman Alexie's prize-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, a perennial on the list, was No. 3, for reasons including drug references, sexual content and racism.Pilkey said in a statement issued by his publisher, Scholastic Inc., that he found it surprising "that a series with no sex, no nudity, no drugs, no profanity and no more violence than a Superman cartoon has caused such an uproar.'A tiny percentage of adults' complaining"Of course, only a tiny percentage of adults are complaining. Kids love the books, and fortunately most parents and educators do, too," he said.E L James' mega-selling, ultra-explicit Fifty Shades of Grey was No. 4, followed by the violent world of Suzanne Collins' blockbuster The Hunger Games.The long-running Captain Underpants series' potty humour landed it on the American Library Association's list of books most frequently cited as offensive by schools and libraries in the U.S. (Scholastic Trade Book Publishing/Associated Press)Others in the top 10 were Tanya Lee Stone's A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl (drugs, sex); John Green's Looking for Alaska" (drugs, sex); Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower (drugs, homosexuality); Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima (Satanism, offensive language, sex); and Jeff Smith's Bone series (political viewpoint, racism, violence)."The list shows the wide range of books that can get people rattled and touch upon their deepest fears and antagonisms," said Barbara Jones, who directs the library association's Office for Intellectual Freedom.The office defines a challenge as a "formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness." The office received 307 challenges last year, down from 464 in 2012 and far below the levels of the 1980s and '90s.Exact numbers, including how many books were actually pulled, are hard to calculate. The association has long believed that for every complaint registered, four to five go unreported by libraries and that some librarians may restrict access in anticipation of objections. The list is based on press accounts and reports from librarians, teachers and "concerned individuals."Harry Potter, Twilight made list in past years"The number is low this year," Jones said. "We'd like to think it's because people finally understand that pulling a book from their shelves isn't going to solve the problem they're worried about it. But it could be an anomaly."Many of the books are cited for the very actions and attitudes they were trying to criticize, whether The Bluest Eye for violence or Alexie's novel for racism. It's a long tradition, Jones noted, dating back at least to the accusations of racism made against Mark Twain's satirical The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."People focus on a word, or a handful of words, and often lift them out of the context of the books," Jones said.The list often reflects what's popular among kids and young adults at the time. Over the past decade, the Harry Potter books and the Twilight series have appeared in the top 10, and Jones thought that the new report would include Veronica Roth's Divergent books."We might be a bit behind on that trend," Jones said. "But as far as next year, yeah, we're waiting."
Christina Hendricks ‘Not Really Interested In Having Children’

Christina Hendricks ‘Not Really Interested In Having Children’

James White for Health

Her Mad Men character balances being a partner at the ad firm with raising a baby (whose secret father, viewers know, is silver fox Roger Sterling). Christina Hendricks, however, is content to pamper a furrier friend: her new dog.

“We got a puppy, and that’s my idea of starting a family. People say, ‘Oh, that’s practice for parenting,’ but if it’s practice for anything it’s to be a mom to another puppy,” Hendricks, 38, tells Health in their May issue, on stands April 18.

“We’ve decided that we are not really interested in having children.”

She continues: “It’s just very normal for people to say, ‘Well, when you guys have kids …’ And then when I say, ‘Actually, I don’t think we’re going to do that,’ people will say, ‘Oh, you say that now …’ It doesn’t bother me, though. And, you know, there’s a small chance I could change my mind.”

James White for Health

For now, Hendricks is busy bidding farewell to Mad Men‘s Joan, the beautiful former secretary she calls “incredibly blunt” and full of “feminine power.” She has some time to say goodbye: The wildly successful AMC series is splitting its seventh and final season across two years.

Plenty of fans are sure to miss drooling over Joan’s quick wit and celebrated curves  — qualities Hendricks’s actor husband, Geoffrey Arend, 36, pegged as potential from the show’s start.

“Whenever we see something about it, he always says, ‘I told you from the beginning. I’m the one who called it first,’” Hendricks told the magazine of her sexy image.

“So he just wants a little credit. Really, he’s sweet and he’s happy for me.”

– Michele Corriston

Stacy Keibler Is Expecting a Daughter

Stacy Keibler Is Expecting a Daughter

Steve Erle

It’ll be a girl for Stacy Keibler.

The baby she and husband Jared Pobre are expecting in late summer is a daughter, PEOPLE confirms.

“They were excited for this blessing and just wanted a healthy baby,” a friend of the couple tells PEOPLE. “They will make amazing parents as they are so in sync.”

Keibler, 34, and Pobre, 39, wed in early March on the beach in Punta Mita, Mexico.

“Both Jared and I didn’t think that we were ever going to get married or have kids,” the actress and TV host told PEOPLE at the time. “When you meet the right person, everything changes.”

“I’m so excited for the new chapter in my life,” Keibler continued. “I’m so ready for it. I feel for the first time like I’m really fulfilled and at peace.”

– Sarah Michaud with reporting by Elizabeth Leonard

Filed Under:Expecting, News, Stacy Keibler Comments+ Add a comment

Showing 33 comments

Ris on April 9th, 2014


SarahJane on April 9th, 2014

So she’s over 20 weeks pregnant then. She didn’t waste any time getting knocked up by this guy.

bitsy on April 9th, 2014

My thoughts exactly SarahJane! I wish her well, but really don’t like that girl at all. Her 15 minutes was over a long time ago.

Kris on April 9th, 2014

Rebound romances do work I guess. Kaley Cuoco certainly had one and she married almost right after her and Superman broke up, you kind of wonder if these people are just really desperate to get over someone and this is what they do.

Jane on April 9th, 2014

I’m happy for them. Sometimes you don’t meet the right person till later. I wish them much happiness and joy in their new life together as husband and wife, and parents.

Just Me on April 9th, 2014

His last name means poor in Spanish. That makes me giggle.

erica2 on April 9th, 2014

I am so glad she came from under George Clooney’s spell! There is marriage, life, and happiness beyond being George’s beard. Congrats Stacy & Jared! I am sure the baby will be a tall beauty.

Tiffany on April 9th, 2014

@ Sarah Jane – you do not have to be 20 wks pregnant to find out the sex anymore. blood tests at 12 weeks can tell you the gender.

Dee on April 9th, 2014

Who cares?

Ceecee on April 9th, 2014

Actually you can find out as early as 9-10 weeks with a blood test. I speak from experience.

ELC on April 9th, 2014

She talks like she’s a little old lady. All Stacy is is 34…my gosh get over yourself woman. If she stuck it out with George the hunk then maybe I could understand her saying that but she married a guy in her age group. She sounds like another dumb starlet. Grow up already.

Dee on April 9th, 2014

“Look GEORGE, I’m having a baby GIRL! Maybe you can date HER one day because, yeah, you’ll still be SINGLE then. You made a big mistake letting ME get away!!!”

*As she sobs into her Ben & Jerry’s.

Canyon on April 9th, 2014

One of the few that wanted to be married before giving birth. Why not at least give her props for that.

guest on April 9th, 2014

Due “late summer” as the article says probably means she was 20 weeks. Congrats to her!

mary on April 9th, 2014

I think she was emotionally hurt by George Clooney, so she met a guy, intentionally got pregnant and married him to give George Clooney the impression that he didn’t mean that much to her. Just my opinion.

: on April 9th, 2014

HA! seems like they got married for the baby! which ahppened BEFORE the marriage!

Elizabeth on April 9th, 2014

I wish them both nothing but the best that life has to offer

Amber on April 9th, 2014

And someday the baby will grow up to date George.

Allison on April 9th, 2014

Didn’t Stacy Keibler get the memo that you don’t get knocked up by your rebound?

egni knov on April 9th, 2014

Why all the excuses it is your business and your husbands.
You’re not the first or the last who is pregnant on her wedding day.
Be happy and stop with all the excuses, please we all know that they are lies.
Have a happy life and a beautiful baby girl.

Kat on April 9th, 2014

I knew it was a shotgun wedding. That guy still doesn’t know what hit him, lol! missus made sure she got knocked right away and now she owns half his estate.

Marla on April 9th, 2014

Good for her. Many happy blessings

Teresa on April 9th, 2014

Wow, what rude, mean, nasty women on this subject. You all sound so small and petty. Sad that you can’t be happy for her.

Anonymous on April 9th, 2014

““When you meet the right person, everything changes.”” Meaning “When you get pregnant without planning it, everything changes”

maof3orso on April 9th, 2014

I wonder if George will still be able to date when this baby is 18.

Melissa on April 9th, 2014

Congrats Stacy!

Amanda_M87 on April 9th, 2014

Stacy’s daughter will probably be one of George Clooney’s girlfriends 20 years down the road.

GT on April 9th, 2014

Glad she is out from George!

Sara on April 9th, 2014

Congratulations to Stacy & Jared. I’m sure their daughter will be beautiful.

Kris on April 10th, 2014

Happy for Stacy. Congrats!

Anonymous on April 10th, 2014

Okay, why all the negativity? I, for one, am thrilled for Stacy! How wonderful that she finally found happiness. Also, she’s known her husband for a lot longer than the few months they spent dating before getting married. The article about the marriage states that they’ve been friends for five years.

Anyway, I wish her and her hubby the best of luck!

life goes on on April 10th, 2014

A little girl, they are so precious.

jen on April 10th, 2014

She knew George did not want marriage or kids, why is everyone picking on him?

Michael Schumacher faces long recovery from coma, say survivors

Michael Schumacher faces long recovery from coma, say survivors

Friends of Michael Schumacher are encouraged that the former Formula One star is emerging from his months-long coma, but experts and coma survivors note he likely faces a multi-year road to recovery.“Comas aren’t the way you see them on TV: one day you’re in a coma and the next night you’re sitting up chatting,” said Barb Butler, a former Regina teacher who spent 27 days in a coma following a 1993 car crash.“It’s a gradual thing. You slowly come out of them.”On Friday, word came that the retired race car driver, who has been in a medically induced coma for three months following a skiing injury, was experiencing periods of consciousness.Newer reports this week suggested the 45-year-old German racer is responding to voices and making eye contact.The act of emerging from a comatose state is measured by how a patient responds on eye, motor skill and verbal tests based on a 15-point Glasgow Coma Scale, and can be a long process itself.“I would begin opening my eyes, but not focusing,” Butler recalls, about her own recovery. “People describe it as having doll eyes.”That graduated to an angry, focused look. “I just think I was confused,” she says. She had a breathing tube in her mouth, which prevented her from speaking, so she was given a pad of paper to write on, but “I didn’t really seem to have the urge to communicate.”Butler can’t remember coming out of her coma and relies on details told to her by friends and family.Emerging from the coma itself took time, but the rehabilitation process took even longer.Butler spent several months at a rehabilitation hospital, followed by five years of frequent hospital visits.'A chronic condition'As for Schumacher, it’s hard to know what his recovery will look like. Schumacher suffered a traumatic brain injury on Dec. 29 after a fall while skiing in the French Alps. But there are few public details about his condition.The extent and area of brain damage will greatly determine his prognosis and rehabilitation, doctors say. All that is certain is that recovery won’t be rapid.Seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher likely faces a years-long recovery when he fully emerges from a coma. (Clive Mason/Getty Images)“It’s been said that brain injury is a chronic condition,” says Dr. Angela Colantonio, a senior scientist with the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and head of the Brain Injury Association of Canada’s research council. “It’s pretty much with you the rest of your life.”For Butler, the long road to recovery involved relearning everything, including eating, reading, walking and even basic social skills.“It was like being an alien on Earth,” she says. “I didn’t know any of the rules.“At first when they were teaching me to walk, I didn’t know why I couldn’t walk. But the more you realize, ‘I should be able to do this. I’ve been doing this for years. Why can’t I do this now?’ you get very frustrated.”Butler now serves as co-president of the Brain Injury Association of Canada and helps run a survivors’ support group in Regina.She still struggles with memory problems, which is typical for those with brain injuries. Another common issue is fatigue.Doctors say symptoms, like seizures, can also appear later in life, though every case is unique.“Some people have very severe brain injuries and have fantastic recovery,” says Dr. Colantonio.“And then there are cases where people don’t even lose consciousness and have quite a lot of difficulty to the point that they cannot return to their old job and have very persistent symptoms.”Better treatment availableNot only can brain injuries themselves vary widely, but so, too, can the factors that help determine a patient’s chances of recovery, such as that individual’s fitness level, age, education and whether there has been a previous trauma to the brain.Also influential is how much support a patient gets from family and friends through the long and arduous recovery, notes Dr. Colantonio.Schumacher may also benefit from immense improvements in the understanding and treatment of severe brain injuries.“It’s a fascinating time,” says Dr. Mark Bayley, a rehabilitation doctor at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute who researches ways to improve cognition and physical recovery after brain injury and stroke.“The imaging is getting better so we know what’s going on in the brain, and the treatment that we have available to us is better.”At one time, experts believed the recovery of brain-injured patients plateaued at six months, but now it’s thought that improvement can continue over years, said Dr. Colantonio.The challenge after the early phase of recovery is to make sure the improvements do continue.With positive signs that Schumacher’s emerging from his coma, the team of experts around him will likely soon turn their attention from keeping him alive to planning a multi-year rehabilitation process.“It’s not just about saving a life, it’s about helping someone have a life,” notes Dr. Bayley. “And our challenge is to make that life meaningful."Schumacher has 'moments of consciousness,' manager says
Mark-Paul Gosselaar Jokes: My Kids Love Their Baby Brother, Just Not Each Other

Mark-Paul Gosselaar Jokes: My Kids Love Their Baby Brother, Just Not Each Other

Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty

The sibling love was at a standstill in Mark-Paul Gosselaar‘s home — until his two kids were saved by … the baby.

Despite a rocky relationship with each other, the actor’s children, Michael Charles, 10, and Ava Lorenn, 7½, have happily embraced their roles as big brother and sister to 6-month-old Dekker Edward.

“They still hate each other, but they love the baby, so all the love now goes to Dekker,” Gosselaar, 40, joked to PEOPLE at the Safe Kids Day event on Saturday in West Hollywood, Calif.

Balancing a new baby and busy schedules with work can get hectic, so during the week Gosselaar’s goal is often “just having dinner … as a unit.” But all bets are off on the weekends when the family — which includes Gosselaar’s wife Catriona — gets together for some fun.

“One of the activities that we do is we play golf together — it’s something that we like to do,” the Franklin & Bash star says. “We pick one day to have fun between the kids’ soccer and gymnastics.”

And with so much going on, Gosselaar has found a way to document each moment — and memory! — throughout the years. The result has become a special keepsake for his children.

“The minute Dekker sat up and Michael goes to bed without a nightlight [and] Ava loses her tooth — there’s literally milestones every single day with children,” he explains. “We write it down in a journal every once in awhile. Anytime the kids say a funny quote, we write it down … and then we read  them out loud. It just shows how the time progressed.”

– Anya Leon with reporting by Abby Stern

Filed Under:Babies, Exclusive, Kids, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, News, Parenting
Jon Favreau Hits the Road in a Taco Truck in First ‘Chef’ Trailer (Video)

Jon Favreau Hits the Road in a Taco Truck in First ‘Chef’ Trailer (Video)

Jon Favreau Hits the Road in a Taco Truck in First 'Chef' Trailer (Video) - The Hollywood Reporter Kevin Spacey on Not Playing Carson; How to Say 'F--- Off' to Hollywood Disney Chief Reveals 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Is Already Shooting (Exclusive Video) TV Review: 'Mad Men' Season 7 Premiere TV Review: 'Game of Thrones' Season 4 Why Hollywood People Never Say 'No' 1 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Adds Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca (Exclusive) 2 Kevin Spacey: Studio 54, Lost Gigs, That Threesome and 16 Other Things Left Out of THR's Cover Story 3 'Dancing With the Stars' Switches Up Partners, Judges Make Controversial Comments 4 Oxygen Orders Seven New Series, Sets Network Rebranding 5 'Agents of SHIELD' EPs on 'Captain America 2' Bombshell: 'Nothing Is Sacred' (Q&A) 6 Kevin Spacey: 'House of Cards' Star on Why He Won't Play Carson; the Right Way to Say 'F--- Off' 7 Netflix's 'Marco Polo' Sets Its Cast 8 Jay Leno Breaks Silence About David Letterman's Retirement 9 Disney Chief Reveals 'Star Wars: VII' Casting Almost Complete, Says Film Is Already Shooting (Video) 10 Bravo Developing Morgan Spurlock, Thom Beers Projects; Orders Real-Time Dating Series Related VideosIn This Week's MagazineKevin SpaceyMore from this issueSubscribe NowGive a Gift The Roots Release 'When The People Cheer,' First Single From 'And Then You Shoot Your Cousin' Christina Hendricks Shuts Down 'Game Of Thrones' Rumors Yes, A 'General Hospital' Rap Concept Album Is A Thing That Exists. Thanks, Jimmy Fallon. Archie Comics To Kill Off Archie, Sort Of Bette Midler on Soph, Janis Joplin, and Her Early Years in New York City ‘You’re Still Here?’: A Brief History of the Movie Post-Credits Sequence Archie Comics Will Kill Off Archie Andrews Future and Kanye Both Won, Will Now Rap About It Brooklyn Decker Flies to New York with Husband Andy Roddick! Peaches Geldof's Death: No Drugs or Suicide Note Found - Report Oscar Pistorius Takes the Stand to Describe the Moment He Shot Reeva Steenkamp Zac Efron's Muscles & Washboard Abs Are on Full Display in 'Neighbors' NSFW Red Band Trailer - Watch Now! What's Hot On The Hollywood Reporter'Star Wars' Actors: Then and NowView galleryHollywood's Notable Deaths of 2014View galleryACM Awards Red Carpet Arrivals: Country Stars Hit Las Vegas (Photos)View galleryDavid Letterman Replacements: 17 Comedians and Hosts Who Might Land at 'Late Show' (Photos)View gallery
Of Good Report: Hong Kong Review

Of Good Report: Hong Kong Review

Of Good Report: Hong Kong Review - The Hollywood Reporter Kevin Spacey on Not Playing Carson; How to Say 'F--- Off' to Hollywood Disney Chief Reveals 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Is Already Shooting (Exclusive Video) TV Review: 'Mad Men' Season 7 Premiere TV Review: 'Game of Thrones' Season 4 Why Hollywood People Never Say 'No' 1 Disney Chief Reveals 'Star Wars: VII' Casting Almost Complete, Says Film Is Already Shooting (Video) 2 Box Office: 'Captain America: Winter Soldier' Soars to $303.3 Million Globally 3 'Star Wars' Actors: Then and Now 4 Kevin Spacey: 'House of Cards' Star on Why He Won't Play Carson; the Right Way to Say 'F--- Off' 5 'Game of Thrones': Why Is This Show Never Spoiled? (Opinion) 6 Game of Thrones: TV Review 7 Why Hollywood People Never Say 'No' 8 Benedict Cumberbatch to Play Richard III 9 'Game of Thrones': 20 Game-Changing Quotes (Photos) 10 'Game of Thrones': 5 Essential Ways to Prepare for the Premiere Related VideosIn This Week's MagazineKevin SpaceyMore from this issueSubscribe NowGive a Gift Neil Patrick Harris Says Taking Over For David Letterman Would Be An 'Asinine Amount Of Work' SyFy Announces New Zombie Series 'Z Nation' 'Got Talent' Is Officially The Most Successful Reality Show, Gets Guinness Record Finally Some Good News For Women In Film Samuel L. Jackson Just Filmed Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Season Finale A&E Renews Bates Motel Apparently, to Everything There Is Not a Season: AMC’s Turn Debuts to Modest Numbers Ratings: Game of Thrones Season-4 Premiere Most Watched Episode Yet Vanessa Hudgens Dresses in Head-to-Toe Purple at the Gym Chris Pine Brings 'Lindbergh' Along For Trip to London! Ed Sheeran's 'Sing' Full Song & Lyrics: JJ Music Monday! Anna Kendrick Spoofs '90s Nickelodeon in Cut 'SNL' Sketch! What's Hot On The Hollywood Reporter'Star Wars' Actors: Then and NowView galleryHollywood's Notable Deaths of 2014View gallery'Game of Thrones': 20 Game-Changing Quotes (Photos)View galleryACM Awards Red Carpet Arrivals: Country Stars Hit Las Vegas (Photos)View gallery
Second Child on the Way for James Durbin

Second Child on the Way for James Durbin

Courtesy James Durbin

James Durbin definitely has a lot to Celebrate: he’s going to be a dad again!

The American Idol alum and his wife Heidi are expecting their second child in November, his rep confirms to PEOPLE exclusively.

“We’re looking forward to even more laughter in the house and those silly baby expressions,” the parents-to-be tell PEOPLE.

The couple — married since December 2011 — plan to find out the baby’s sex by cutting into a cake at a gender reveal party.

But big brother Hunter, who turns 5 next month, has his bets on a baby boy.

“He’s very excited. He wants a little brother to play Legos with,” Durbin, 25, says. “Since we spaced them apart from each other, Hunter will probably be a big help.”

While the singer’s been busy working on his new album – Celebrate, which features his single “Parachute,” is out Tuesday — Heidi has been balancing her morning sickness with a sweet indulgence.

“I’ve been craving canned peaches!” she says.

– Anya Leon

Filed Under:Exclusive, Expecting, Featured Post, Featured Post - Breaking News, James Durbin, News
Rwandan Romeo and Juliet chronicled in new documentary

Rwandan Romeo and Juliet chronicled in new documentary

A new Canadian documentary about a Rwandan production of Romeo and Juliet is uniting 20-something Rwandans and Canadians.Monday marks 20 years since the start of the Rwandan genocide and Halifax filmmaker Ben Proudfoot is in Kigali with his largely Canadian crew to wrap filming on his documentary Kigali/Verona."The themes and sort of salient moments and characters and aspects of Romeo and Juliet obviously are a very interesting juxtaposition against what happened in Rwanda in 1994," Proudfoot told CBC News."In no way is it identical — the Rwandan genocide was a genocide. Romeo and Juliet is about two families who are fighting each other ... but what is pertinent is the theme of the play, which is love conquering violence," he said. 'We know very little, as Westerners, about what's going on in Rwanda and my hope with this film is to try and change that ... People know the genocide happened there, [but] they don't know what modern Rwanda looks like.'- Ben Proudfoot, filmmaker Still in production, the documentary follows professor Andrew Garrod, co-founder of Youth Bridge Global, who has for decades mounted student Shakespearean productions and used drama to inspire cultural bridge-building and to transform young people.The former Dartmouth College prof and longtime New Brunswick teacher has staged multi-ethnic, multilingual versions of the Bard of Avon's plays in the Marshall Islands, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and — last summer — in Rwanda with college-aged Hutus and Tutsis.Thanks to a serendipitous, last-minute invitation from a friend, Proudfoot tagged along to shoot Garrod's eight-week production. The tight timetable included just a few weeks of casting and rehearsals through the eventual performances.Nova Scotian director and producer Ben Proudfoot and Ottawa-born cinematographer David Bolen spend time with a young Rwandan family. (Norm Bolen)"We know very little, as Westerners, about what's going on in Rwanda and my hope with this film is to try and change that," said the filmmaker who is now based in Los Angeles."People know the genocide happened there, [but] they don't know what modern Rwanda looks like."Proudfoot discovered much complexity among the current generation of young Rwandans, something he hopes Kigali/Verona will convey as well."[One participant says] 'We've been reconciled. We're a happy people: we love each other,' and then we have [actress Tete, who portrays Juliet, saying] 'You know, that's not exactly the truth. We're not totally reconciled and anybody who says we are is a hypocrite.'"A new generationMany of the young actors and participants were just toddlers at the start of the genocide and "they're now coming into a critical-thinking age where they're sort of seeing the world, seeing and understanding how the world sees them when they announce that they're Rwandan," he continued."[They have a] desire to build a new image of Rwanda and be a person on the world stage that is not just a victim of a genocide that happened 20 years ago, but somebody who has merit in their own right as a musician or an actor or an academic or whatever it is they have aspirations being — and that's something I can relate to as a young person."In this scene from the documentary Kigali/Verona, two young actors rehearse a scene from a Rwandan production of Romeo and Juliet. (Breakwater Studios)Despite coming from opposite sides of the world and being raised in very different circumstances, it was this yearning to break away from the past and rise up as a new generation that bound together the Rwandan actors and the young Canadian documentary crew, led by the 23-year-old filmmaker."What came forward was not what was different about us, but what was similar about us given all these differences."Proudfoot and his team will complete shooting final visuals for Kigali/Verona in the coming days before returning home for post-production. Through his company, Breakwater Studios, he is raising funds to finish the documentary, which he hopes to complete for the early 2015 film festival season.Kigali/Verona documentary cinematographer Dough Burgdorff and sound recordist Sean Higgins capture everyday Rwandans in April 2014. (Norm Bolen)
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