Out & About - November

By Susan Hornik

Donald Sutherland

AFI Film Festival

The fall is always a busy time for journalists with so many events to attend! I went to several screenings at Hollywood's AFI Film Festival and interviewed celebrities like Helen Mirren, Donald Sutherland and Peter Fonda. "As the 31st edition of AFI FEST comes to a close, this year's awards shine a light on the American independent, auteur and foreign cinema that resonated with our audiences and jurors," said Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI FEST Director, in an official statement. "Audience awards help bring film lovers together, while building momentum for the filmmakers in this year's festival."


Laura E. Davis and Jessica Kaye
At the Los Angeles premiere for the dysfunctional family drama, "Inheritance," I spoke to two fearless writer/directors, Jessica Kaye and Laura Davis. The story, a dark noir, features a gnarly triangle of characters: Mara (played by Kaye), her boyfriend Aaron (Daniel Ahearn), and her estranged brother Ben (Mark Webber).

"Daniel, Laura and I worked collaboratively to organically come up with a story that was inspired by topics and relationships that interested us," said Kaye. "We drew from our personal lives as well as interests and crafted the bare bones of the story. Laura and I then spent the next year working diligently to write the script! We wrote the characters inspired by the actors we knew were playing the parts."

As to what inspires her, Kaye said: "I am fascinated by what makes people behave the way they do to each other. What are the nuances and details of relationships. How do people become who they are? What makes some people brave and others cowardly, what makes some people able to find love easily and others struggle for companionship? Etc."

Davis added: "I feel we both had a strong awareness that we were diving into complicated subject matter. To me, the more we could identify with Mara and really be inside her struggle, the more I felt viewers would go on this ride with us. We didn't want to shy away from the material because it was dark and complex; that fact was a bigger invitation to approach the story with rigor and honesty and empathy. "

"The door is getting cracked open a tiny bit wider for women, people of color, and others who have historically not been invited to the director's chair. I think it's important for us to kick the door open wider (and ultimately to knock it down entirely) so that we can have writers, directors, performers, etc., from numerous points of view as well as stories that represent all of us. With each new story that challenges hegemonic representation, we have the opportunity to see and envision the world differently. "

American Music Awards Awards

Patti Stanger at the GBK Lounge
GBK hosted their Luxury Gifting Lounge to celebrate the Nominees and Presenters for the 2017 American Music Awards and to give back to the hurricane survivors in Hollywood on Saturday. In addition to Nominees and Presenters, some of the attendees included Randy Jackson, Bridgette Neilsen, Emma Kenney, Alan Floyd, Joey Lawrence, Khandi Alexander, Marcus Scribner, Sofia Milos and Ta'Rhonda Jones.

Custom Comfort Mattress welcomed nominees with an impressive display, and one lucky celebrity walked away with a package that includes an 8' x 8' all-natural mattress, handcrafted specially for them in their Southern California factory. The gift includes personal fitting to the correct mattress for their body type and sleeping preference, personalized details including size, embroidery and feel, in-home consultation if necessary to determine measurements and correct fitting of space, and white glove delivery service and installation management, all valued at over $35k! Also there was Plus Products, who creates hand-crafted, cannabis-infused products. All of their products are healthy, discreet, disposable and conveniently packaged. Plus uses a unique, patent-pending process to create their edibles, and the talent was going wild over their attractive branding and the assortment of gummie flavors, including sour watermelon sativa-hybrid, blackberry lemon indica and pineapple coconut.

Body Systems Wellness, an Integrative Medicine Clinic, was on-site performing 20-minute IV Vitamin Sessions that deliver Vitamins, Minerals, and Electrolytes directly into the bloodstream so that the ingredients are 100 percent absorbable into the cells. The benefits include increase in energy, hydration and overall sense of vitality, which left the celebrities glowing and red carpet ready.

LMK Art caught the eye of many attendees with their Golden Shoes and original artwork, and Wear Your Music was a huge hit, offering bracelets made from guitar strings. Wear Your Music was also offering to cover a portion of any purchase made towards a Famous Musician Bracelet (featuring strings from such artists as Jack Johnson, Adam Levine, Ben Harper and Bob Weir) where 100 percent of all proceeds goes to the Artist's charity of choice. Erik the Artist was also showcasing original art, and allowing the talent to see what it was like to paint on the medium of plexiglass. Erik instructed the celebrities how to create two artworks that will be combined in his unique way to create one masterpiece, which will be auctioned off for charity benefiting hurricane survivors.


At the W Hotel in Hollywood, Celebrity Connected held their pre-AMA luxury gifting suite, which featured some great businesses in technology, home decor, beauty, health, food/beverage, the latest in fashion/apparel industries , and many new and unique products. I loved meeting Second Skin, the makers of designer athletic gear , and fashionable clothing- like pants and hoodies; and Alexa Varano, the bright entrepreneur of Third Wolf, who make unique and original hand-painted clothing, where all designs are hand drawn and all stencils are hand cut.

Other highlights of the suite included handcrafted Organic Hand salves from Wise Hands, which help to eliminate pain in your joints and inflammation; Elixir Cosmetics and beautiful necklaces from Nikolina Designs.


I caught up with Marco Pelusi, celebrity hairstylist at his fantastic salon. He offered these fantastic tips:

1. Find time for deep conditioning treatments during the holiday months - every week or every other week. You can use your regular in-shower conditioner after shampooing - simply leave the conditioner on your hair, wrap a hot damp towel around your head, sit for 30 minutes, and rinse out. The difference in your hair will be miraculous during those cold months.

2. Try adding some red and/or some low-lighting to your hair during the holidays.. If you and your stylist agree that red will look good, try adding some red to your color during the cooler winter months. If you're blonde or if your hair looks faded - consider adding some dimensional low-lighting to deepen and enrich the color during the cooler temps.

3. Ask your stylist to do a gloss or a shine treatment when you're next at the salon. Your hair can often dry out and look dull, lifeless, and frizzy during the holidays; the added shine treatment will boost the condition of your hair and make it look healthy for all your holiday parties.

4. Use a gentle hairspray. Stay away from super firm-hold hairsprays as these products can actually build up in your hair, dry out your hair, make it difficult for haircolor to last, and the list goes on. Become comfortable with more of a softer hold


If you want really authentic Mexican food, look no further than Frida Mexican Cuisine restaurants. During a media trip, I toured each of their locations, and loved the quality and the texture of the food.

"My inspiration in creating the menu comes from missing the traditional flavors of Mexico City and different regions. As you know, Mexico has so many regions that create many different types of Mexican meals," said owner Vicente Del Rio. "Mexican food is now an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the Unesco, so it's truly important to continue being traditional and respectful about our recipes". Del Rio's favorite dishes include the Arrachera Nortena, Mole Poblano and the Camarones al Ajillo.


Recently, I was invited to Princess Cruises' collaboration with Chef Angelo Auriana, for Sabatini's Italian Trattoria restaurant. Celebrating the cruise line's Italian heritage, specialty restaurant Sabatini's Italian Trattoria has been delighting millions of Princess Cruises guests with traditional and innovative cuisine since it first debuted aboard Grand Princess in 1998. Nearly 20 years later, Princess Cruises unveiled a fleetwide enhancement to its signature restaurant in collaboration with acclaimed Italian Chef Angelo Auriana. Introducing a fresh new design and menu featuring antipasti and handmade pasta dishes from Chef Auriana, as well as family recipes curated from Italian Princess executive chefs across the fleet, the transformed Sabatini's Italian Trattoria debuted aboard Caribbean Princess following a multi-million-dollar drydock.

Posted By Discover Hollywood on November 22, 2017 11:06 am | Permalink