And the Oscar Goes To…

As the Academy Awards approach, “Oscar” is a word hanging on every film lover’s lips. The film and television award season comes to a close this Sunday with the Academy Awards, and APB would like to take the time to commend the innumerable actors, directors, and producers on our speaker roster who have dazzled us with their productions.
As a member of host Billy Crystal’s team of gag writers for the Oscar telecast, comedian and APB speaker Carol Leifer will once again contribute to what is sure to be a memorable program. Says the seven-time Oscar writer, “There’s really nothing more thrilling than that for a comedy writer, when the host is pitched ten jokes in a span of ten seconds, chooses yours, goes out and scores with it. It’s a thrill beyond compare.” Leifer, who just scored a Writer’s Guild Award for Modern Family, has worked on such shows as Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld, and HBO’s critically acclaimed The Larry Sanders Show. Unafraid to tackle any topic—as long as it makes the public laugh—she is a trail-blazing female in the world of comedy.
Multi-talented speaker Woody Allen’s latest film, Midnight in Paris, pits Owen Wilson as a struggling writer who travels back in time to Paris’s Roaring Twenties. Thrown in the midst of Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and the like, Wilson’s character finally finds the inspiration he needs to become a successful author. The film has racked up Oscar nominations for Best Picture in a Comedy and Best Screenplay, as well as Best Actor in a Comedy for Wilson’s performance and Best Director for Allen’s work behind the camera. A prolific filmmaker, Allen revolutionized comedy as a cinematic genre, giving it a deeply personal, almost confessional touch in productions ranging from the bittersweet Annie Hall to the broodingly dark Match Point.
In a slightly different vein, style guru and APB speaker Clinton Kelly will provide much-anticipated red carpet fashion advice to the masses on his Friday, February 24, segment of The Chew. With characteristic edge and wit, the famed What Not to Wear co-host will show viewers how to incorporate this year’s red carpet looks into their own wardrobes. Entertaining and personable, Kelly is a sought-after motivational speaker who connects with audiences and individuals, empowering them to revamp their wardrobe and revamp their lives.
In other entertainment news… 

Celebrated actress and speaker Andie MacDowell continues her reign onscreen with ABC Family’s latest sitcom, Jane by Design, which premiered on January 3, 2012. She stars as the titular character’s ruthless boss, a fashionista à la Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. Her acting prowess in films ranging from Saint Elmo’s Fire to Four Weddings and a Funeral, as well as her timeless beauty (as a l’Oréal spokesperson for its anti-aging cream, she’s proven that natural beauty by far trumps plastic surgery), have endeared MacDowell to the American public ever since she first stepped onto the silver screen.

Filmmaker and speaker Spike Lee directed and co-wrote, along with APB speaker James McBride, Red Hook Summer, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. A coming-of-age story about a young, affluent black boy from Atlanta who spends a summer with his grandfather in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, the film delivers a humorous and honest look at the vibrancy and complexity of African American Christianity. A writer-director, actor, producer, author, and educator, Spike Lee is regarded as one of today’s premier filmmakers.

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