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2022 brought both a changing of the guard at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and a transformative year for the film industry, which is still coping with fallout from the pandemic.

In terms of the ongoing question of will the Oscars become better at recognizing a more diverse set of nominees, it is all in the hands of the voters.

The edict that “diversity sells” doesn’t seem to have much impact on what projects the awards body chooses to honor. The Academy tends to lean into prestige projects over accessible box office hits. There is a chance that as many as four big-budget sequels make it into the Best Picture category — not just for being popular, but for being some of the best reviewed films of the year — and they all made it a point to have ensembles that are racially diverse. Even smaller hits like “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” now A24’s highest grossing release, has stayed front and center through the year, partly as a major win for Asian-American representation.

If the newly released Oscar shortlists are any indication, Oscar voters do seem keen this year on widening the scope of the filmmakers they recognize. Out of the 15 films on the Documentary Feature shortlist, eight are directed by women, and four are directed by people of color. Meanwhile, the International Film category includes films from five different continents, and although European countries represent half the list, quite a few of the films those countries chose to represent them focus on characters from underrepresented backgrounds (i.e. “Saint Omer” (France), “Holy Spider” (Denmark)).

All in all, the voting body for the Oscars is still 66 percent male and 81 percent white, so the push to significantly diversify its membership and governing bodies in order to have a group of voters that give eligible films equitable consideration is not over. But 2022 provided more than enough awards contenders that both kept diversity and inclusion in mind, and succeeded on every metric that makes an Oscar-worthy film.

Here is a look at these prospective nominees’ shots in the major categories.

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“Saint Omer”


Best Picture

History: While the 2022 Best Picture nominees were not as racially diverse in front of and/or behind the camera as the previous year, “CODA” winning was a major step in the right direction for disability representation (the film centers on a mostly deaf cast). Nominee “Drive My Car” also indicated that Academy voters continued to broaden their horizons, considering more films with predominantly Asian casts, as well as more films not in English.

Although it is still true that six of the last 10 Best Picture winners were directed by filmmakers of color— “12 Years a Slave,” “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance),” “Moonlight,” “The Shape of Water,” “Parasite,” and “Nomadland”— half of those still focus on white, cishet protagonists.

The state of the race: As previously mentioned, there is a much more diverse pool of contenders for Best Picture this year, but the final nominations are not likely to reflect that. Only the Daniels’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once” seems like a surefire nominee that would contribute to inclusion efforts. James Cameron’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” and Joseph Kosinski’s “Top Gun: Maverick” have diverse casts, but that is hard to see in the former, with the majority of the characters being the blue Na’vi people (who represent an indigenous population), and the latter does not give its characters of color much to do.

But there is a guarantee that 10 films will be nominated, so those films on the bubble for the presumed ninth and tenth spots on the nominees list, like Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “The Woman King,” S.S. Rajamouli’s “RRR,” and Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” would all contribute to making the Best Picture category more representative of the diversity of awards worthy films released in 2022.

Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” an auto-fictional drama about his family upbringing, may be the frontrunner, but “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is giving it a real run for its money.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 23: Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan arrives at the premiere of 'Everything Everywhere All At Once' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on March 23, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/FilmMagic)

Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan


Best Director

History: Jane Campion’s win for “The Power of the Dog” ended a four-year streak where a filmmaker of color won the Oscar in this category: Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland” (2021), Bong Joon Ho for “Parasite” (2020), Alfonso Cuarón for “Roma” (2019), and Guillermo del Toro for “The Shape of Water” (2018). However, it also continued the trend of women winning the award that had eluded them for over 80 years. Notable too that Ryusuke Hamaguchi was also nominated last year, continuing the recent trend of nominating more international feature directors, in addition to honoring more directors of color.

The state of the race: Similar to Best Picture, the contenders that most represent progress on the diversity front are likely fighting for that final fifth spot on the nominations list. Slightly understandable when Best Director is shaping up to be a race between Steven Spielberg and James Cameron, the two most influential filmmakers of the last 40 years. Right now they are likely to be joined by Martin McDonagh (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) and Todd Field (“TÁR”), with Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) facing an uphill battle in terms of the recognition of co-directors. Sarah Polley (“Women Talking”) and Gina Prince-Bythewood (“The Woman King”) have the two best shots of keeping the streak of female nominees going. S.S. Rajamouli (“RRR”) and Ruben Östlund (English-language “Triangle of Sadness”) could represent the international contingent (although neither of their films were submitted for Best International Feature). Time will tell what progressive trends, if any, continue with the 2023 Oscar nominations for Best Director.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 18: Michelle Yeoh attends the Premiere of Netflix's "The School For Good And Evil" at Regency Village Theatre on October 18, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic )

Michelle Yeoh


Best Actress

History: Best Actress has always been the category that most indicates the dearth of lead roles for women, and how that has translated into only one woman of color ever accepting the Oscar. Andra Day, Cynthia Erivo, Yalitza Aparicio, Ruth Negga, Quvenzhané Wallis, and Viola Davis are the only actresses of color to be nominated in the category within the last decade. No actresses of color were nominated in this category last year.

The state of the race: The current narrative for the upcoming 95th Oscars is that Best Actress will either go to Cate Blanchett for her work in “TÁR” or Michelle Yeoh for her performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” That means either the Australian actress is set to win her second Best Actress Oscar or that Yeoh will become the first ever East Asian actress to win the category. Outside of the frontrunners, “The Woman King” star Viola Davis is poised to receive her third nomination in the category, and Danielle Deadwyler is likely to make it in for her celebrated work as activist Mamie Till-Mobley in “Till.” Their only competition for nomination slots are Golden Globe and Critics Choice nominees Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”) and Margot Robbie (“Babylon”).

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Jeremy Pope in “The Inspection.”


Best Actor

History: While its history still speaks to a lack of awards-worthy roles for men of color, the Best Actor category has seen a lot of progress in the past two decades when it comes to diversity. While only one woman of color has ever won Best Actress, Will Smith became the fifth Black man to win Best Actor last year, and he was nominated against fellow Best Actor winner of color Denzel Washington.

The state of the race: Best Actor is another category with four prospective nominees that seem ensured to make the final cut, and one wildcard slot that could change the diversity numbers. Currently, the frontrunners are Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”), Austin Butler (“Elvis”), and Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”), with “Living” star Bill Nighy comfortably trailing them, looking to build momentum in the new year. Based off Golden Globe nominations, “Babylon” star Diego Calva or “The Inspection” star Jeremy Pope could break into the category and prevent an all-white list of nominees, but more critics and prognosticators are predicting Australian actor Hugh Jackman (“The Son”) or Irish actor Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”) to take that fifth Best Actor nominee slot.

Angela Bassett as Ramonda in Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER. Photo by Annette Brown. © 2022 MARVEL.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Annette Brown/Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Best Supporting Actress

History: This is the category that had the first ever actor of color to win an Oscar, “Gone With the Wind” star Hattie McDaniel. In recent years it has built off that legacy, and become the category where performers of color most shine, with half the Best Supporting Actress winners from the past decade being women of color. That stat includes last year’s winner Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”), who was nominated against fellow Black actress “King Richard” star Aunjanue Ellis.

The state of the race: There are way too many deserving Best Supporting Actress contenders this year to predict the final nominees with any certainty, but this will likely be the acting category that best portrays how 2022 was not just a great year for films centered on racial minorities, it was also a great year for films centered on women.

Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”), Stephanie Hsu (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”), and Hong Chau (“The Whale”) are three favorites for the nomination who also happen to be women of color. They are in the mix with actresses like Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”), Jessie Buckley (“Women Talking”), and Jamie Lee Curtis (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”), but the prospective nominees most on the bubble are more women of color such as Dolly De Leon (“Triangle of Sadness”) and Janelle Monáe (“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”).

Brian Tyree Henry Causeway


Courtesy of Apple TV+

Best Supporting Actor

History: Although last year’s Best Supporting Actor nominees were not racially diverse, winner Troy Kotsur (“CODA”) became the first deaf male actor to ever win an acting Oscar.

In recent years, the category did well in organically recognizing a diverse group of nominees, with Black actors Daniel Kaluuya and Mahershala Ali both winning within the past five years.

The state of the race: Frontrunner Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) would be the second ever Asian actor to win in the category. The only other actor of color with a true shot of making the final cut for Best Supporting Actor nominees at the 2023 Oscars is Brian Tyree Henry for his performance in the Apple TV+ drama “Causeway,” but otherwise the category seems set to include “The Fabelmans” star Judd Hirsch and Paul Dano, “The Banshees of Inisherin” stars Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoughan, with “Women Talking” star Ben Whishaw joining Henry right on the bubble.

Nominations for the 95th Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, January 24, 2023. The 95th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 12, 2023, in Hollywood and will be televised live on ABC.


By: Marcus Jones
Title: 2023 Brings a Diverse Set of Oscar Contenders. Will the Final Nominees Reflect that?
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Published Date: Mon, 02 Jan 2023 20:30:23 +0000

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Parks & R3cs Presents SunDown Volume 4: A Mesmerizing Blend of Music & Nature!



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When it comes to creating an unforgettable experience that combines the power of music with the beauty of nature, Parks & R3cs knows how to deliver. This dynamic collective has been making waves in the LA music scene. Their recent packed show at Pattern Bar in Downtown LA only solidified their success. But their true essence lies in bringing the community together to groove in different parks throughout Los Angeles. On Saturday, June 3rd, they are set to return to Woodley Park for Volume 4 of their signature event series, SunDown.

SunDown is not your average dance music event. I say this, as it goes beyond the confines of a traditional get-together, and embraces nature at its finest. With SunDown, Parks & R3cs aims to create a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere. One where music lovers can connect with nature while dancing the night away. Similarly, this time, they’re taking things up a notch by switching the date from the typical Sunday to a Saturday. In the process, ensuring an even more energetic and unforgettable experience.

Sundown Vol. 4 Lineup

One of the key aspects that sets SunDown apart is its carefully curated lineup. This is a lineup that showcases both established artists and rising talents. Leading the charge are none other than the founders of Parks & R3cs themselves: Jessy R3cs, BassBubbles, and the show’s headliner and birthday boy, Michael Walker. These visionary artists have been instrumental in shaping the collective’s success. Their performances are a testament to their talent and dedication to the growth of the collective.

But the surprises don’t stop there– SunDown Volume 4 will also feature a special guest. That guest being YULAA, a rising star from San Francisco who has been making waves with her recent remix of “Artichokes are Yellow.” Her unique sound and infectious energy are sure to captivate the crowd and leave a lasting impression. SunDown Volume 4 will be further enriched by the Latin house sounds of Desno and Lokal Eleven. These talented artists will infuse their unique energy into the mix. In the process adding a vibrant and irresistible rhythm that will keep the crowd dancing well into the night. If you’re into the sounds of Latin house, these are two acts that you do not want to miss.

In addition to the main lineup, Parks & R3cs has joined forces with another music and arts renegade camp, “The Glitter Cats,”. In doing so, they aim to create a truly unforgettable experience. Together, they recently hosted the “Cinco de Meow” festival. This took place at a hot spring resort, and attracted a crowd of 100 people. Meanwhile a deep partnership was forged between the two collectives, which will be put on full display at SunDown Volume 4. Now, the talents of house-thumping masters Graphixxx, pbob, and TKNL, will also be featured on the lineup of SunDown Volume 4.

The Venue

SunDown Volume 4 promises to be an unforgettable experience. The collective aims to blend the power of music with the beauty of nature. If this seems like something that might interest you, mark your calendars for June 3rd. SunDown Volume 4 will take place at Woodley Park and is located in Los Angeles, CA. The park can be found at 6350 Woodley Ave., Van Nuys, CA 91436. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. See you there!

Be sure to check out Parks & R3cs at their official website, here. Parks & R3cs SunDown parks series can be found on Instagram, here. Similarily, SandBox their beach series, can be found here. Enjoy!

About Parks & R3cs:

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Parks & R3cs is a Los Angeles-based music collective dedicated to showcasing and supporting local talent. We believe in the power of music to bring people together and create meaningful connections, and that’s why we’ve made it our mission to provide a platform for emerging DJs and producers to share their art with the community.

Whether it’s at Woodley Park, Dockweiler Beach, or any of our other events, we strive to create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere where music lovers can come together and discover new sounds. We are proud to be a part of the vibrant LA music scene and excited to continue bringing high-quality events to the community.

The post Parks & R3cs Presents SunDown Volume 4: A Mesmerizing Blend of Music & Nature! appeared first on EDMTunes.


By: Matt Sierra
Title: Parks & R3cs Presents SunDown Volume 4: A Mesmerizing Blend of Music & Nature!
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Published Date: Sat, 27 May 2023 19:44:08 +0000

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LISTEN: DVBBS Tap Jeremih & SK8 for Genre-Bending Summer Anthem, “Crew Thang”



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Canadian brothers DVBBS have joined forces with Grammy-nominated R&B artist Jeremih and singer-songwriter SK8 in their latest single, “Crew Thang.” This dynamic track combines captivating melodies and groovy house basslines, complemented by vibrant vocals that strike the perfect balance between sensuality and enjoyment. It serves as an ideal anthem to launch the summer season, offering an unforgettable experience and encouraging everyone to embrace their own unique style on and off the dance floor. “Crew Thang” follows the duo’s recent release, “Synergy” featuring Timmy Trumpet, and we can’t wait to hear what they have in store for us next. Stream the single below and stay tuned for the official music video of “Crew Thang,” which will be released very soon.

DVBBS – Crew Thang | Stream

LISTEN: DVBBS Tap Jeremih & SK8 for Genre-Bending Summer Anthem, “Crew Thang”

The post LISTEN: DVBBS Tap Jeremih & SK8 for Genre-Bending Summer Anthem, “Crew Thang” appeared first on Run The Trap: The Best EDM, Hip Hop & Trap Music.


By: Max Chung
Title: LISTEN: DVBBS Tap Jeremih & SK8 for Genre-Bending Summer Anthem, “Crew Thang”
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Published Date: Sun, 28 May 2023 12:57:57 +0000

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ChatGPT is going to change education, not destroy it



The response from schools and universities was swift and decisive.

Just days after OpenAI dropped ChatGPT in late November 2022, the chatbot was widely denounced as a free essay-writing, test-taking tool that made it laughably easy to cheat on assignments.

Los Angeles Unified, the second-­largest school district in the US, immediately blocked access to OpenAI’s website from its schools’ network. Others soon joined. By January, school districts across the English-speaking world had started banning the software, from Washington, New York, Alabama, and Virginia in the United States to Queensland and New South Wales in Australia.

Several leading universities in the UK, including Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge, issued statements that warned students against using ChatGPT to cheat.

“While the tool may be able to provide quick and easy answers to questions, it does not build critical-­thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for academic and lifelong success,” Jenna Lyle, a spokeswoman for the New York City Department of Education, told the Washington Post in early January.

This initial panic from the education sector was understandable. ChatGPT, available to the public via a web app, can answer questions and generate slick, well-structured blocks of text several thousand words long on almost any topic it is asked about, from string theory to Shakespeare. Each essay it produces is unique, even when it is given the same prompt again, and its authorship is (practically) impossible to spot. It looked as if ChatGPT would undermine the way we test what students have learned, a cornerstone of education.

But three months on, the outlook is a lot less bleak. I spoke to a number of teachers and other educators who are now reevaluating what chatbots like ChatGPT mean for how we teach our kids. Far from being just a dream machine for cheaters, many teachers now believe, ChatGPT could actually help make education better.

Advanced chatbots could be used as powerful classroom aids that make lessons more interactive, teach students media literacy, generate personalized lesson plans, save teachers time on admin, and more.

Educational-tech companies including Duolingo and Quizlet, which makes digital flash cards and practice assessments used by half of all high school students in the US, have already integrated OpenAI’s chatbot into their apps. And OpenAI has worked with educators to put together a fact sheet about ChatGPT’s potential impact in schools. The company says it also consulted educators when it developed a free tool to spot text written by a chatbot (though its accuracy is limited).

“We believe that educational policy experts should decide what works best for their districts and schools when it comes to the use of new technology,” says Niko Felix, a spokesperson for OpenAI. “We are engaging with educators across the country to inform them of ChatGPT’s capabilities. This is an important conversation to have so that they are aware of the potential benefits and misuse of AI, and so they understand how they might apply it to their classrooms.”

But it will take time and resources for educators to innovate in this way. Many are too overworked, under-resourced, and beholden to strict performance metrics to take advantage of any opportunities that chatbots may present.

It is far too soon to say what the lasting impact of ChatGPT will be—it hasn’t even been around for a full semester. What’s certain is that essay-writing chatbots are here to stay. And they will only get better at standing in for a student on deadline—more accurate and harder to detect. Banning them is futile, possibly even counterproductive. “We need to be asking what we need to do to prepare young people—learners—for a future world that’s not that far in the future,” says Richard Culatta, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), a nonprofit that advocates for the use of technology in teaching.

Tech’s ability to revolutionize schools has been overhyped in the past, and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement around ChatGPT’s transformative potential. But this feels bigger: AI will be in the classroom one way or another. It’s vital that we get it right.

From ABC to GPT

Much of the early hype around ChatGPT was based on how good it is at test taking. In fact, this was a key point OpenAI touted when it rolled out GPT-4, the latest version of the large language model that powers the chatbot, in March. It could pass the bar exam! It scored a 1410 on the SAT! It aced the AP tests for biology, art history, environmental science, macroeconomics, psychology, US history, and more. Whew!

It’s little wonder that some school districts totally freaked out.

Yet in hindsight, the immediate calls to ban ChatGPT in schools were a dumb

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By: Will Douglas Heaven
Title: ChatGPT is going to change education, not destroy it
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Published Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2023 10:13:15 +0000

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