Category Archives: Movers and Shakers
For nearly three years, Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis opened his home and memory bank to documentarians interested in introducing a new generation of sports and movie fans to his story.
That investment of time and energy paid off with “Back on Board: Greg Louganis,” which was screened this week as one of the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s Gay!La events.
Louganis and his husband, Johnny Chaillot-Louganis, attended the gala screening.
Greg said, “Back in December 2010, I was kind of talking about how I was coming back into the sport of diving. And so Will Sweeney, one of the producers, read the article and said, “Oh my God, Greg Louganis, I never knew he left diving, so there must be a story behind it.” He reached out to Cheryl Furjanic, who produced “Sync or Swim,” another Olympic story. They were friends. Knowing she had worked with the Olympics, the ins and out of getting access and all that, she reached out to me.”
Read more at DESERT SUN
In celebration of his 25th Anniversary, White Party Founder and Producer Jeffrey Sanker has created the WHITE PARTY PALM SPRINGS ICON AWARDS. These awards recognize a select group whose unique and varied achievements have stood out and best embody the spirit of White Party.
“We are thrilled to present our special Icon Awards to individuals who have exemplified White Party’s defining principles of unity & celebration, commitment to excellence and leading edge creativity,” said Sanker. “I look forward to presenting those attending recipients their awards on the White Carpet at this year’s Saturday main event.”
WHITE PARTY PALM SPRINGS ICON AWARD RECIPIENTS INCLUDE:
Carmen Electra- Artist, Activist
Cher- Pioneer for LGBT Community; Activist
Jai Rodriguez- Actor, Activist
Kathy Griffin- Comedienne, Philanthropist, Activist
Lady Gaga- Pioneer for LGBT Community, Philanthropist, Activist
Lance Bass- Actor, Activist
Aaron Walton- Philanthropist, Activist
Bryan Singer- Director, Activist
David Cooley- Founder of Abbey, Philanthropist
Fred Arens & Jason Duguay- Philanthropist, Activist
Roland Emmerich- Director, Philanthropist
Sir Elton John & David Furnish- Philanthropist, Activist
Adam Bouska & Jeff Parshley- NoH8 Campaign, Activist
Bruce Vilanch- Actor, Writer, Activist
Lisa Vanderpump- Reality Star, Activist
Paul Katami & Jeff Zarrillo- Prop 8 Activists
Ron Oden- Former Mayor of PS, Activist
Ronnie Kroell- Activist
Todd Saporito- Philanthropist, Activist
Andy Cohen- BRAVO TV personality, Activist
Candis Cayne- Pioneer of LGBT Community, Activist
David Stern- Former Publisher of Frontiers, Activist
DJ Abel Aguilera- Deejay, Activist
Reza Farahan – BRAVO TV personality, Pioneer of LGBT Community
Congratulations to all WHITE PARTY PALM SPRINGS ICON AWARDS recipients!
Sanker announced this year’s 25th Anniversary plans include a completely redesigned White Party, boasting the most innovative and elaborate video displays ever experienced. Chart-topping remix production team BENT COLLECTIVE (Danny Verde & Steven Redant) will also make their live DJ performance debut. And media sponsor SiriusXM is on board to broadcast on-site from the Convention Center White Carpet for this historic event.
White Party will also offer lots of new photo opportunities, such as Instagram “selfie moments” and a special photo set up where groups can get instant pics emailed for free.
Additionally, to benefit DESERT AIDS PROJECT and fund raising auction efforts, Sanker has enlisted the talents of internationally recognized conceptual photographer Duke Shoman to create beautiful, striking photographic tableaus. In keeping with the WPPS 25th “Silver Anniversary” theme, a sleek, sexy and modern chamber of shining, brilliant silver will be the setting that stars and VIP guest will step into – following their arrival on the White Carpet – to commemorate this twenty-five year milestone.
The following afternoon, at the Sunday T-Dance, you can double your pleasure with two giant 100 foot high Ferris wheels, and the day will culminate with the biggest fireworks display in White Party history, choreographed to the music of DJ/Producer Wayne G.
Sanker also revealed the exciting new addition of Uber as the official transportation provider for White Party. Why drive when you can Uber? Services will be available all weekend long for White Party attendees. Uber lounge stations will be set up at White Party locations manned by special Uber concierges. Uber will also have stretch limos for White Party guests to get around in style. New users can download the app and enter the code WP25 for a free first ride! Sign up at: www.uber.com/GO/WP25. Both new and existing users can also enter the code whiteparty to unlock a flat rate from LA to Palm Springs and back!
White Party Palm Springs is the largest gay dance music festival in the world, celebrating its 25th Anniversary April 25-28, 2014. For more information, hotel reservations and tickets, visit: www.jeffreysanker.com.
For Richard Grenell, buying a house in Palm Springs and setting out to renovate it with his partner is just the diversion he may need after a tumultuous year.
known as “Ric” to his Palm Springs friends, made headlines this year
after he resigned as the openly gay national security spokesman for the
Mitt Romney campaign. He lasted less than two weeks on the job.
Now that he is beginning to talk about that experience for the first
time, Grenell denies he was forced out, while acknowledging he took heat
from both the political left and the right.
Read the interview in The Desert Sun
It is official – awards season in Hollywood has begun.
The brainchild of former mayor Sonny Bono, The Palm Springs International Film Festival began
in 1989 and has since become one of the largest film festivals in North
Nearly 130,000 attendees flock annually for the world-class
lineup of new international features and documentaries. The festival has
become a focal point for Oscar buzz, especially for potential foreign
And its January 7th Black Tie Awards Gala at the Palm Springs Convention Center this weekend was
the star-studded highlight of the 11-day festival. Past honorees in
attendance for this glamorous night have included Ben Affleck, Javier
Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Ron Howard,
Sean Penn, Natalie Portman, and Kate Winslet.
But this year’s Black Tie Awards Gala surpassed them all, with names like Pitt, Clooney, Theron, and Close
all in attendance. And other glamorous names like Cartier and Mercedes-
Benz act as the evening’s official sponsors.
Brad Pitt was on hand to receive the Desert Palm Achievement Actor Award for his lead role in Moneyball and his supporting role in The Tree of Life. – The movie HAS NOT gotten good reviews.
George Clooney, who appeared with Pitt in Ocean’s Eleven (including scenes shot in Palm Springs) was also in attendance to receive the Chairman’s Award for the films The Descendants and The Ides of March.
Glenn Close picked up the festival’s Career Achievement Award. Her new film Albert Nobbs,
where Close portrays a woman who tries to pass as a man in 19th century
FILMS are playing through Jan 16th!
PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL
SHORT FEST is in
full swing this week!
Running thru June 27th, the festival is fun and full of hundreds of amazing short films!
“As new doors open for short filmmakers, we’re opening our own doors to a rich and diverse line up of great new short films from around the world with this 17th annual edition of the event.
As always, ShortFest has culled a huge selection of dazzling new animated, live action and documentary short films for its line-up from among 3,000 submissions to the event this year. And while these films are short in length, they are long on entertainment value – in turns amusing, enlightening, challenging and provocative – all of which adds up to the perfect recipe for a great time at the movies. Join us in celebration of the gifted young filmmakers who are providing this filmic feast, and who will enliven the cinema for decades to come. “
OUR FAVORITE! Half-Share
From the talented JESSE ARCHER comes this new project, soon to be an online web series!
a Fresh out of a long term relationship, Matt takes a time-share on Fire Island for the summer and must decide whether he can handle his eccentric new housemates on the
mythical Isle of Misfit Boys.
DIRECTOR: Sean Hanley
Producer: Sean Hanley, Jesse Archer
Editor: Alexander Hammer
Cinematographer: Andrei Bowden-Schwartz
Music: Roddy Bottum
Principal Cast: Jesse Archer,Alec Mapa,Sam Pancake,Jack Plotnick,Kevyn Morrow,Kyle Spidle
The woman whose passport reads “María del Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Gutiérrez de los Perales Santa Ana Romanguera y de la Hinojosa Rasten” has so many fantastic stories that the list of great ones goes on longer than her official name!
CHARO started in Las Vegas back in the 1970s, and before she was legal. “I brought so many people in they looked the other way,” she says. Her time in Sin City is a history lesson of talent. “It was just like the movies. People dressed perfectly; there was an ambience of class.” Her co-stars in sophistication included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Junior (“The best performer in the world”), and a setting that she calls “a dream come true.”
While the dream may have ended (“Las Vegas is Disneyland now”), Charo has not. She performs year-round. On February 25 she performed her new song, “Sexy, Sexy” at Splash Bar in New York, and on April 10 she’ll perform at the famous WHITE PARTY in Palm Springs. Charo’s not going back in time, she’s moving with it.
Charo left the scene before the scene left her. “I knew that I didn’t want my child to be raised by nannies. In the Eighties, I was making a hundred thousand a week in Vegas and Reno, and instead I went to Hawaii where my son could grow up normal with the same friends.” She still performed in Waikiki, and answers the question of possible regrets before you ask. “My son doesn’t have to write a book called ‘Cuchi-Cuchi Dearest.’” It’s a laugh line on her part, and a bittersweet note for anyone who remembers the lush desert days.
“When I came back to Vegas in 2000, I couldn’t believe it. Corporations took over, and they looked at people like numbers. I stopped learning the names of my bosses because every three months there would be a new one. There was a time when you were a VIP; now you’re a lump.”
“Sexy, Sexy” was written by Charo’s son, Shel Rasten, a musician in his own right, and it’s an infectious dance number that Charo calls “the new Cuchi-Cuchi.” If you notice a change in her audience, it’s because a lot of the ambience now has a touch of same-sex class. Charo’s flamboyant look has, not surprisingly, kept her in the gay loop.
“I am against discrimination and against oppression,” she says. “The people in the White House should treat the country like it’s their own children. Same sexes should be respected and allowed to marry. You have to fight, fight, fight!”
Robert @ Q Trading Co. – Photo Richard Lui/Desert Sun
It all started as an idea for a simple little book about Palm Springs. Robert Julian had been coming to Palm Springs for nearly 30 years, from San Francisco. Robert moved to PS in 2006 with the hopes of writing what he envisioned as a “gay version” of “A Year in Provence,”- Peter Mayle’s warm account of moving into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in the country.
But when the book came out this past fall, “Postcards From Palm Springs” had somehow morphed into something closer to “Running With Scissors” – Augusten Burroughs’ virulent memoir of growing up gay, which sparked defamation of character and invasion of privacy law suits.
Julian, whose real name is Robert Julian Stone, hasn’t been sued, but he’s raised some ire. He told the Desert Sun, “I could have gone way farther,” said Julian. “I only told 10 percent of what I know. The other 90 percent would have had me run out of town on a rail.”
As of last week, “Postcards From Palm Springs” has sold only 500 copies and it wasn’t available in major book stores. Then the media picked up on the story released by his publicist and now it’s HOT! Everyone is talking about it, including local television stations and even The Los Angeles Times.
Julian realized after making Palm Springs his primary residence, and becoming involved in the community as a Public Arts Commissioner, that there was a real story to tell in the evolution of Palm Springs as a community.
“This has become a gay city,” said Julian. “So, I thought somebody needs to write about the 21st century gay Palm Springs. It’s a distinctively different place from the Palm Springs of the 1950s and, in some cases, I think it’s a great social experiment. This is the first time in history we have a clearly identifiable, openly gay, graying population. And, when those people come together, how do they behave?”
Julian is now being touted as a spokesman for “the new Palm Springs.” He’s expected to begin hosting a talk radio show in three to six months on KNews.
Julian is amazed at the reaction to his book, and just a little disappointed by those who are offended by it.To those friends who didn’t see it coming, he offers a favorite quote from writer Joan Didion:
“Beware of your friends who are writers,” he recited. “They will always betray you.”
The Best of Gay Palm Springs