Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Wish

Wishing you and your family an explosion of blessings going into 2012 that would be so extreme and substantial, you'd have no choice but to bless someone else.

Maniko Barthelemy

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

You Can Beat Your Happy Holidays Challenge

You can’t walk into a mall, watch television or listen to the radio without the sights and sounds of happy holiday music. From subtle to substantially overbearing, there’s no escaping the pressure to just be happy. We are in no doubt at that time of the year, where people often reflect, regret and recharge their definition of happiness. For many people, it’s disturbing to find the strength to move on without someone who was here last year or fathom how their finances will balance out because like millions of people last year, this year, they too are unemployed.  

As you know, there are no easy answers to how to cope with everything you view and literally feel as wrong, unfair and unconscionable.  However, what directs your future is intrinsically tied to your focus. Are you concentrating so heavily on your problems that something positive seems impossible? Are you surrounding yourself with people who have no solutions but roll out the welcome mat for your VIP pity party? If your answer to any of the questions is yes, you must act now. The reason you have to pull it together and make yourself happy is clear, the alternative is equivalent to standing in the ring and bracing for a knockout, instead of using everything you know about life as skills to help you fight and win.
Cheers to the better, blissful and blessed life you absolutely deserve, long before the New Year kicks into full swing.
What you think is the best or worst way to deal with challenges? Please e-mail your response to Maniko Barthelemy at Newsheels@gmail.com.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Love, Marriage and Homosexuality

Whether you lock eyes with the “one” on your own and approach, or you are set-up by friends to meet and greet with the hope of clicking, we all want the peace of companionship, pleasure of commitment and lifelong complete satisfaction. For millions, love, life and marriage all work without a test. However, every day millions of couples, deal with what some believe is the ultimate test of trust, faith and betrayal. “I know people say that they’d kill them if they found out but when you really love someone, you can’t do it,” says Joy.
Joy, shares her story with Maniko Barthelemy, during a recent interview for "I Thought It Was Forever."
Joy reunited with her high school sweetheart, shortly after an e-mail from him, which led to the couple exchanging vows and building what Parker thought was her perfect life. "I listened to the first voicemail and started to shake because I knew the next one would tear up my perfect life. When you find out your husband is sleeping with men, a lot of horrible things go through your mind," says Joy.
Randy is blunt about life during and after the love of his life came out.
Randy, still takes lessons from his first marriage into consideration, as he moves forward with his love life. "It does something to you, when your wife looks at you on your 21st wedding anniversary and says there's no room in her life for a man," says Randy. "I really thought she was my only true love. You marry people for life, not to look another partner."
Randy and Joy are two of several brave people featured in an upcoming documentary about love, sex, marriage and homosexuality. According to research, nearly two million are afraid to talk about the pain they endure, when a spouse reveals he or she is gay. Instead of confronting their pain, many people would rather live in isolation. Southern Belle Productions, LLC is in production on “I Thought It Was Forever.” Through revelatory and candid interviews, family photos and interviews with experts, the film examines what happens in five marriages, when a spouse comes out.

The 60-minute documentary answers questions left unanswered by the 2005 Universal Studio blockbuster hit “Brokeback Mountain” and TV Land’s current comedy series “Happily Divorced.” that strips away stereotypes and misconceptions. You can follow the progress of the documentary; learn more about the cast and crew, as well as interesting developments throughout production at The Movie, "I Thought It Was Forever" Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/update_security_info.php?wizard=1#!/pages/The-Movie-I-Thought-It-Was-Forever/266635793379198.

You can also “LIKE” the Facebook page for Southern Belle Productions, LLC at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Southern-Belle-Productions-LLC/149203665156459.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Documentary Hits Small Screen in D.C. Area

"The Unlikely Sex Offenders," a short documentary about female registered sex offenders in Louisiana airs tonight at 8:30 p.m. in Prince George's County, MD on channel 76 (Comcast) and channel 42 (Verizon Fios). The film examines an 1805 crime against nature law, prostitution and punishment that inadvertently leads to hundreds of people becoming a permanent underclass.

The film was written and produced by Maniko Barthelemy, primarily filmed and co-directed by Erica Singleton, and production stills shot by Jeff Ray. "The Unlikely Sex Offenders" was nominated for best documentary at the 2011 Visions Film Awards in Washington, D.C. and screened in April 2011 at the Obama administration's human rights conference.

Here's a link to the trailer: http://www.trailheadproductions.com/maniko.htm. Please forward all comments to Maniko Barthelemy at newsheels@gmail.com.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Entrepreneur’s Opinions Open Doors to Success

Is verbal abuse just as traumatizing as physical abuse? If I told you someone called me the B-word, I’m sure blessed, beautiful, and boss would not cross your mind. “I want to take the power out of the B-word,” says Tamachia Davenport, owner of Nanny Tee Prosperity, LLC. In an effort to boldly address stereotypes and encourage domestic violence victims or friends of victims to speak up, Davenport sends an empowerment message through her novelty T-shirt line. “Bitch is what a lot of women hear when they’re being abused and that’s tearing down their self-esteem,” says Davenport.
October is national domestic violence awareness month. Davenport is one of many vendors who will attend a New Orleans area empowerment seminar about preventing domestic violence. “I was trying to figure out a new way to make an impact and get the thoughts out of my head,” says Davenport. In addition to motivational words and the signature light purple color that symbolizes the national campaign against domestic violence, a purple ribbon is on the sleeve of Davenport’s new and very popular T-shirts.
As a full-time social worker, the New Orleans entrepreneur sees first and second-hand the mental and physical scars victims often hide out of shame or fear. “Domestic violence awareness is a cause that’s very close to my heart. I can’t sit by with my eyes closed and not speak about what’s happening around me,” says Davenport. Other causes dear to her heart and influences on the catchy phrases or designs on her shirts include breast cancer awareness and local campaigns to help troubled teens.

Since launching her T-shirt line in June, Davenport has sold nearly 400 T-shirts at an average of $20 per shirt. Like any smart businesswoman, she was meticulous about researching the industry, supply and demand logistics, as well as personal sacrifices necessary to start and maintain a business in an unstable economy. “I looked around to see what was available locally and a lot of us are Saints fans, very spiritual people and have a sense of humor,” says Davenport. “I talked to people in the business and weighed the costs and benefits of starting a T-shirt line.”
Davenport personally finances her business. “I use money from savings account to cover expenses but I do plan to apply for small business loans later, as I learn more about structuring my business,” says Davenport. Undoubtedly, she’s in the T-shirt business to make a profit but fiercely focuses on making a difference. Davenport donates a significant portion of all T-shirt sales to various New Orleans nonprofit organizations. “I want to be a tool to help give back, even if it’s something as simple as helping to pay a bill for a nonprofit,” says Davenport.
As much as Davenport is determined to make a difference, she’s dedicated to leaving a legacy for the next generation. “I want to make sure my nieces and nephews know it’s important to give back to the community and I want to leave them with something they can continue and expand.” Her nicknames given to her by young children in her family helped Davenport find the perfect name for her business. “My godchildren call me nanny or auntie, so I put the two together and came up with the name “Nanny Tee Prosperity, LLC and I always believe in prosperity,” says Davenport.

The next step for Davenport is to expand her business to include novelty pajamas and tank tops. To view more of her shirts and place orders, you can contact Davenport on Facebook under Nanny Tee or call (504) 428-1975. You can meet Davenport October 15th at the New Orleans annual “No Silence, No Violence” empowerment event at the St. Bernard Center, 1500 Lafreniere Street from 9 a.m. through 1 p.m.

If you own a small business and would like to be featured on this blog or would like to comment on this story, feel free to e-mail Maniko Barthelemy at NewsHeels@gmail.com.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Seniors Address Sex & Stereotypes

What would you do if you saw your grandparents having sex? The very thought of that image is enough to make many people cringe or click off this site. In her first film “All of Me: Sex Over Seventy,” Miami documentary producer Gina Margillo highlights two very compelling and diverse senior citizens who boldly share the secrets of maintaining a healthy sex drive. “Sex for people in the late stages of life is much more than just physical and I wanted to break the stereotypes of older people and sex,” says Margillo.
Breaking barriers within the elderly community almost kept Margillo’s film as just a good idea. In many circles being blunt about sex is still taboo. “A lot of the seniors were afraid to go on camera because they didn’t want their adult children to know,” says Margillo. After passing out flyers, reaching out to senior centers and personally interviewing more than a dozen people in San Francisco, an 84-year-old woman and 72-year-old man trusted Margillo with their story.  
Peggy Cartwright has the smile, sassy personality and spirit of a wonderful grandmother. The two-time divorcee is happily dating her 62-year-old boyfriend. “I like younger men,” says Cartwright. Throughout the film, Cartwright, who loves drawing and painting, looks directly into the camera and declares sex is better now than any other time in her life. “One of my grandmothers lived until she was 100 and I figure I’m going to make it also and she was active until the end, so I probably will be too,” says Cartwright.
An air of confidence and conceit fills the film, when the camera introduces viewers to 72-year-old Ivan Spane. “I like to dress a certain way. I have my own style,” said Spane. The devout yoga student, who’s in a monogamous relationship, says at his age sex has a different level of importance. “Unless you are turned on by their personality, sex kind of becomes meaningless,” says Spane. Still, he asserts there’s no better feeling and cautions people against dismisses sex as they age. “Do it as much as you can and as often as you can and always keep your heart open.”
Here’s a clip of: “All of Me: Sex Over Seventy,” http://vimeo.com/5701437. The film was one of several short documentaries recently selected to screen at the DC Shorts Film Festival.
Margillo became a film producer after she was laid off. She used her Roth IRA to pay for a five-week film production class in San Francisco and only had access to equipment for 10 hours to shoot "All of Me: Sex Over Seventy."
Please leave a comment for the film producer, Gina Margillo at gmargillo@earthlink.net or e-mail Maniko Barthelemy at NewsHeels@gmail.com.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Prison, Death and Love

Would you have the strength to nurse someone to their death? Would you trust a killer to nurse you to death? Turn to OWN, Channel 279, Direct TV for "Serving Life," a documentary that pushes past prison boundaries and stereotypes about Angola inmates and a vastly different DEATH ROW.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The 50-year-old Overdue Apology

Sometimes alcohol and arrogance serve as a platform and opportunity mixed with an excuse for many people to spew insults, disrespect and offend those they profess to love dearly. Could you forgive a recovering alcoholic for throwing you out of your hotel room naked? If a man tells you every time you had sex it was just sex and never love-making, how would you respond? What do you say to your former best friend who owes you thousands of dollars, disappears and shows up 20 years later at your door?

In the documentary Despicable Dick and Righteous Richard, a 68-year-old recovering alcoholic vehemently and personally apologizes to a select group of family, friends and foes. For nearly 50 years, Richard Kuchera conned, rejected and humiliated everyone from his siblings and children to business partners, ex-wives and ex-mistresses.

His nickname amongst those he’s hurt is “Dick.” “I’m trying to change my life and become Richard,” Kuchera says in the film that follows his road to redemption. As he travels from his home in North Dakota, crosses the Great Plains region and closes out his apology tour in Vegas, Kuchera meets acceptance and resistance. During his visits, Kuchera gets a taste of what he dished out so freely for years, as some find his request for forgiveness laughable, while others feel it’s long overdue.

When this film comes to your local theatre, film festival or gets picked up by a broadcast network, tune-in for a raw peek into how one man’s desire to make amends teaches us all a valuable lesson about choices, consequences and courage. You will laugh, cry and scream a few select words throughout the 70-minute documentary.  Despicable Dick and Righteous Richard is directed by Joshua Neale. Here’s the trailer: http://vimeo.com/22607337.

Please feel free to contact Maniko Barthelemy at NewsHeels@gmail.com.

Friday, June 3, 2011

FIlm Producer Celebrates in New Orleans with Family and Friends

Maniko Barthelemy (in Jovani)
 Cake designed by Kimberly Gibson, http://www.kutekreations.com/
No, it wasn’t the Oscars. But when guests hit the red carpet in New Orleans for a private screening of two documentaries, the tone of the private event had all of the glitz, glamour and elegance reflective of a dazzling Hollywood premiere and awards show.

Richard Baptiste

Yvette Crocker and Lisa Williamson

Sherinell Allen

Blanche Vaughn and Kendall Richardson
Jordan and Joshua Hughes
Debra and Ken Barthelemy
Rodney and Janice Baptiste

Talib and Natalie Abdulkhabir
Desiree Mason and Lawren Mason

Connie Jacobs

From left: Keyiana Williams, Amanda Washington and Brandon Williams
Tanya and Gary Evans
Dana Kaplan
Deidra Sampson
Dedra Sampson
Chelsia Hughes
From left: Johnette Dillon, Mariah Dillon and Chelsia Hughes

Veronica Burgos
Merrell Merricks and Kelly Steed
Robin and Stevie Jenkins
Kevin Westhues and Les Meyers
Ralph Vaughn and Kendall Richardson
Trene Jenkins and Norman Stovall
Jewel Doyle-Cozart

Nedra Bell

Nyoka Ormstead
Donna Smith and Maniko Barthelemy

Kayla Barthelemy

Johnel Washington

Colenz Breaux

Natalie Moser
Erin Terveer

Robyn Stone

From left: Maniko Barthelemy, Kayla Barthelemy and Farrell Barthelemy
Darryl Lumpkins

Lisa Tahir
Tiffany and Josh Barthelemy

Omar and Carla Mason

Mariah Dillon
 Once guests screened “The Unlikely Sex Offenders” and “From Wrong to Right,” film producer and New Orleans native Maniko Barthelemy was greeted with a standing ovation, as she entered the ballroom at the New Orleans Renaissance Arts hotel. “A party in my hometown is perhaps the best way to say thank you to people who have supported my transition from television reporter to film producer. I did not expect to cry when I entered the room but I couldn’t hold back the tears,” Barthelemy said.

She made it a point to extend her southern hospitality by hugging every guest and personally thanking them for their support. The evening of well-wishes, emotional speeches, dancing and of course New Orleans cuisine, ended with a traditional New Orleans second-line to rhythmic and intoxicating sounds of the Stooges brass band.

After a quick wardrobe change, it was time for Maniko to end the party with a New Orleans second-line.

The Stooges Brass Band gave everyone an intense and energetic workout.

Guests joined Maniko in her high stepping in high heels from the dance floor into the hotel lobby.

Barthelemy recently received a master’s degree from American University in film producing. She is currently the CEO of Southern Belle Productions, LLC and in pre-production on two films. “Louisiana’s Juvenile Reform Puzzle,” examines the problems, plight and progress of the Louisiana juvenile justice system. “After I’m Free” is a film about life after an inmate is exonerated.

Event photos provided by New Orleans photographer Zee Amir (504) 319-5730. Feel free to contact Maniko Barthelemy at Newsheels@gmail.com.