The Inspirational Power of Film Festival Celebrities & their Movies: CMCS Public Seminar Series IV

CMCS Celebrate Your PathThe Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) proudly brings the fourth part of its public seminar series. The event offers a special opportunity to connect through an exclusive talk about celebrity activists and their films to be screened at the 39th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The talk will be taking place at the industRealarts room (688 Richmond Street West) from 7 to 9 pm on Wednesday, September 3. The evening opens with a reception honouring public attendees and seminar participants Emmanuel Lopez and Dr. Samita Nandy.

As news sources cite Piers Handling, CEO and Director of TIFF, “Cinema’s collective and transformative experience lives at the heart of our Festival.” The Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies sponsored event will offer critical and inspirational views on TIFF films and celebrities to show how the festival can positively change public and the world around them. For example, actress Sandra Bullock and her film Gravity had its North American premiere at TIFF 2013. Her character demonstrated outstanding resilience in the face of adversity while in real life Bullock has overcome life challenges and helps change the world through her numerous charities and disaster relief funds. The event will offer a special opportunity to learn more about celebrities creating social change and have attended TIFF such as Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon and Geoffrey Rush. The talk will enable TIFF attendees to discover how their films can inspire and increase resilience such as Titanic, Pleasantville and The King’s Speech. After the presentation attendees will be motivated to unleash their inner star and recognize the lasting power of the 2014 TIFF experience.

Speaker Bios:

Emmanuel Lopez is Motivatorman

Emmanuel Lopez is Motivatorman, an award-winning Illustrator and Motivational Speaker on resilience. He has written over 750 film tips on his “Movies that Motivate” blog and was featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Emmanuel teaches empowering tools, methods and movies he discovered for maintaining a positive mindset during unexpected life changes, burnout and depression. He created artwork for the official Roots T-Shirt for Toronto’s Film Festival of 1991 along with artwork used as the International Film Critic’s Award given to director Gus Van Sant. Emmanuel has provided motivational talks for: TD Canada Trust, Royal Ontario Museum and The Art Institute of Boston. His first book “Movies for Motivation: How to Stay Strong in Your Life & Career” is available on Amazon Kindle. See more:
Samita NandyDr. Samita Nandy is an author, fame critic and certified broadcast journalist with a PhD on fame from Australia’s Curtin University. Her research and writing focus on celebrity culture that has been published in Oxford and New York.  Her international media relations and work led her to be featured with Global Television’s Anwar Knight and Allison Annesley on Daytime talk show and prime-time show First Local on Rogers Television, CBC News, CTV’s Breaking News CP 24, OMNI TV, The Globe and Mail, Canadian Journalism Foundation, Eternity Watch magazine, and ANOKHI Media among many more. Nandy has taught postgraduate and honors degree courses in media at University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and Curtin University. See more:

The Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) is an international organization that helps coordinating academic research and media commentaries on celebrity culture. CMCS carries a pedagogical philosophy that inspires integration of research and media skills training in academic and public discourses of fame.  The Centre believes in intellectual, aesthetic, and ethical values of bridging gaps in higher education and media.  With this view, CMCS helps coordinating research, publications, creative productions, and media commentaries to restore artistic and ethical acts for social change. For more information, please visit

For title sponsorship, media interviews and high resolution photographs, contact Dr. Samita Nandy at or call 416.985.8887.

Date: 7 – 9 pm September 3, 2014
Location: industREALarts room (688 Richmond Street West), Toronto
Admission: PWYC


Moving Forward: An Intimate Evening on Paths, Success, and Love

Moving Forward: An Intimate Evening on Paths, Success, and Love


CMCS Speaker and Performance Series I

Moving Forward: An Intimate Evening on Paths, Success, and Love

Toronto, ON (March 3, 2014)The Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) proudly introduces its second location The IndustReal Arts Room (688 Richmond Street, Toronto, ON) with premiere event Moving Forward on Saturday, March 29, 2014. A Canadian and Australian joint production, Moving Forward applies media, social justice, and science to empower individual and social change in a cross-disciplinary and intimate setting.

Dr. Louis Massey opens the series with his inspirational talk on empowering individual paths. Dr. Massey holds a PhD in SoftwareDr. Louis Massey Engineering and is professor of Computer Science at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario.  Born in Montreal, he is the author of several articles and book chapters on artificial intelligence and mental information processing. On the fiction side, Dr. Massey writes poetry and short stories. He published “The River: Car ton bras sait porter l’épée” in Canadian Voices Volume 2. As a visual artist, he specializes in photography and oil and acrylic painting. He has exhibited at Gallery 22 in Kingston and was a finalist for the Salon Prize 2012.

Dr. Samita Nandy ( and Emmanuel Lopez Dr. Samita Nandy( join for a talk about success in celebrity culture and inner heroism. Lopez, also called ‘Motivatorman’ has been central to understanding the positive effects of movie heroes as cinematic role models for personal empowerment. Featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and City TV’s Fashion Television, Lopez works with live audiences to maximize their passion for filmsEmmanuel Lopez Motivatorman as examples of individual change. Samita Nandy reveals the secret behind the success of celebrities and empowers social change through her individual journey on writing about fame. Featured on CBC, CP 24 and Rogers Television among many more, Dr. Nandy holds a PhD in media and celebrity studies. Her sensual dance Sacred Eco-Feminist Move will debut along with her innovative words.

Myles Wright ( is a music Myles Wrightcomposer, arranger and teacher based in Perth, Western Australia. He studied at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, and completed a Masters at the University of Miami. In addition to jazz, Myles is inspired by many styles of music, including ethnic beats such as those heard in the Sacred Eco-Feminist Move.

Ashima Suri  ( performs the first part of her three-staged performance: ASHES.  Ashima Suri is the Artistic Director forAshima Suri Limitless Productions (, a Social Activist performer, a Writer, a Public Speaker, and a certified Life Coach. Featured on Global Television, OMNI TV and FUSIA magazine, she empowers individuals, facilitates meaningful employment and brings social change through worldwide performances, interactive programs, workshops and one-on-one coaching. In collaboration with Choreographic Consultant from inDANCE, Hiroshi Miyamato, Mentor, Takako Segawa, and Visual Artist, Vishal Misra, Ashima tells a story of a woman who, through the reflection of herself in the painting, begins to shed the many layers and expectations of herself to the point where all that is left are ashes. Each stage represents an emotional release of anger, letting go and fearless resolution / re-birth.


7:00 – 8:00 pm – Opening Reception

8:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Panel with Louis Massey, Samita Nandy, Emmanuel Lopez, and Ashima Suri

9:00 – 9:15 pm – Q / A

9:15 – 10:30 pm – After Party

Dress Code: Semi-Casual

Venue: The IndustREAL Arts Room (688 Richmond St., Toronto, ON) next to Queen West

Cover Charge: $10

For title sponsorship and media interviews, contact or call 416.985.8887.

For high resolution images, please send an email to with your name, title, media you represent and your telephone number.

TAJ Brings Dazzling Light to Canadian Art

Lisa Ray in TAJ - photo by Sid Sawant

Lisa Ray in TAJ (photo by Sid Sawant)

Film Star Kabir Bedi and Celebrity Cultural Critic Samita Nandy on TAJ 

October 28, 2013TAJ brings Canada to the attention of art lovers that have travelled around the world.  The international project not only put the Greater Toronto Area, but Canada in the global spotlight of performance arts.

Funded by Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council, TAJ received critical acclaim and recognition in media such as The Globe and Mail, National Post, CBC television, City TV, and Broadway World.  The dance-theatre stages two film stars: Kabir Bedi and Lisa Ray.  While Lisa Ray is well known for her Oscar-nominated film Water and Food Network Canada’s Top Chef Canada, Kabir Bedi is known for acting in the James Bond film Octopussy, Bold and Beautiful, Sandokan, and many Bollywood films. He has been a voting member of the “Oscars Academy” (Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences) for 30 years as well.

Currently TAJ is on a 7-city tour in Canada and has ignited a fire of passion

Sashar Zarif & Ensemble in TAJ - photo by Sid Sawant

Sashar Zarif & Ensemble (photo by Sid Sawant)

in the hearts of many spectators.  Written by Canada’s award-winning playwright John Murrell, TAJ is a visually stunning performance that is presented through a combination of poetic script, captivating music, and multimedia projection.  TAJ was successfully presented in Mississauga, Kingston, and Sault Ste. Marie, and now on its way to Ottawa, Markham, and Sherwood Park and Banff in Alberta.

Kabir Bedi in TAJ

Kabir Bedi in TAJ (photo by Sid Sawant)

On his way to Kingston, Kabir Bedi revealed the power of the new script that has been written for TAJ.  Bedi affirms that the script is completely revised and different from the one presented at the Luminato arts festival in 2011: “It flows much more beautifully.  It is totally an elegant play that integrates dance and drama more, has a balance of characters, and presents more clarity. It is vivid, symbolic, and dramatic.” Bedi was flown from India to take part in the revision of the script in Canada.  It is “pleasure to perform with such a script.  I feel terrific,” says Bedi.  TAJ received a standing ovation after its opening show at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga.  

In contemporary culture, Taj Mahal is often commodified and represented in

Lisa Ray in TAJ

Lisa Ray in TAJ (photo by Sid Sawant)

ordinary products such as tea boxes, calendars, and a hotel chain.  This commodification occurs because the iconic architecture is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is a symbol of romantic love. But what needs to be remembered, Bedi asserts, is “the story behind the love.”  Bedi further says that the “Taj Mahal is more than a name – it is a living symbol of triumph and tragedy in world history.”  The 2013 performance of TAJ and its symbolic expressions mobilize spectators to imagine and fully embrace the passion and powerful emotions with which the architecture was built.   In particular, TAJ inspires producers and audiences to consider the human element that famous figures share with all.  TAJ illustrates that Shah Jahan is a human being – he is an emperor as well as prisoner that has become famous for his lasting love and passion.

Lisa Ray and Kabir Bedi in TAJ - photo by Sid Sawant

Lisa Ray & Kabir Bedi in TAJ (photo by Sid Sawant)

Canadian-Afghan community developer Freshta Ahmadzai saw the Taj Mahal during her stay in India and was one of the spectators at the opening show. For Ahmadzai, Kabir Bedi’s acting is “flawless – he was the perfect Shah Jahan.” She adds, “I thoroughly enjoyed the telling of the love story through dance. The dancers were graceful and magnificent. It would be excellent if they did international performances as the story is based on world history.” Nita Dayal-Nicholson, who was also present at the show, says TAJ is an “absolute visual enticement. The Kathak dancers literally floated on air with their precise footwork and spins. A stunning stage presentation of Shah Jahan’s pure, deep and never ending love for his Mumtaz.” Nicholson was born in England, lived in Fiji, grew up in Canada, and married in Jamaica.  With global travel experiences in Wales, Scotland, England, Nepal, Bhutan, Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Ireland, Nicholson contends, TAJ should have “international acclaim.”

To find out more about the upcoming performances of Sampradaya Dance Creations, please visit:


Samita Nandy holds a Doctorate from the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts at Curtin University in Australia.  She is the Founding Director of the Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) and a reviewer of New Media & Society Journal in SAGE Publications. Email:

Scully Love Promo Nominated for a Super Sweet Blogging Award

Super Sweet Blogging AwardOne week ago today, I had the pleasure of being nominated by Easter Ellen of Overcoming To Becoming for something called a Super Sweet Blogging Award.  Now, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve been nominated for any kind of blogging award, so I’ll take it, with gratitude! Thank you for the nomination, dear Easter!

Easter is a Christian writer, poet and a beautiful soul who inspires her readers through her life stories and poetry. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing her online for many years and have read her blog quite often. She is an honest, intelligent, kind mother of four who hasn’t had an easy life but she has never succumbed to anger, self-pity or bitterness.  Instead, she has fought her battles, soldiered on and continues to turn to God for His support and guidance as she continues along her life’s journey.  Easter is a Christian whose light shines from within by the example she sets in her own life.  While I’m not a Christian, I enjoy her writing very much.

I confess that I don’t read as many blog posts as I’d like to because of time constraints, but the blogs that I’m nominating are all blogs that I have read and enjoyed quite often and their authors totally deserve to be recognized for their consistently interesting, thoughtful, entertaining and inspirational content.  I don’t expect any of them to carry on and participate in this Super Sweet Blogging Award post-a-thon, but if they want to, that’s great!

Your time online is precious, I know, but if you’re looking for some wonderful bloggers to follow, please take note of my suggestions.

Here are the steps you need to take now:

1. Thank the Super Sweet Blogger that nominated you.

2. Answer five super sweet questions. 

The 5 sweet questions:

Cookies or cake? — Very tough decision, but I’ll have to go with cake. There are so many kinds of cake that I adore including chocolate layer cake, carrot cake with caramel icing, peach torte with whipped cream, red velvet cupcakes, lemon cake, almost any kind of cheesecake, you see where I’m going with this!

Chocolate or vanilla? — Chocolate all the way, baby!

Favourite sweet treat? — Brownies, with icing of course!

When do you crave sweet things the most? — At that time of the month, ladies.

Sweet nick name? — Christine Jellybean

3. Include the Super Sweet Blogging award image in your blog post.

4. Nominate a dozen other bloggers. The following list is in no particular order. You all have fantastic, interesting blogs. 

Here are my choices to nominate for this thoughtful award: (and all of you deserve it fully!)

Easter Ellen from Overcoming to Becoming

Robyn Gibson from Up With Marriage (Note: I’m not married nor ever have been, but this is still a very thoughtful and provocative read for anyone who is in any kind of partnership, romantic relationship or simply wants to be the best person they can be for a relationship in the future.)

Dr. Samita Nandy from Fame Critic

Deborah Kimmett from One Funny Lady

Cheryl Hiebert from Sacred Journeys Healing Arts Centre Ezine

Dawn James from Raise Your Vibration

Jim Barber of Jim Barber Writing Services

Jeff Brown from Soulshaping’s The Soul Blog

Jay Aymar from Road Stories

The Swede from A Swede Talks Movies

Dan Stone from First A Dream

Steph VanderMeulen from Bella’s Bookshelves

A big, heartfelt thank you to all of you for writing really interesting blogs!!

All my best,