Storytelling takes centre stage

first_imgWorld-renowned storyteller Gcina Mhlophe will be one of the performers. (Image: Sibikwa Arts Centre)Storytelling has been used for centuries to pass on knowledge and wisdom to the younger generation and although the practice has slowly diminished, it will be celebrated in Johannesburg during March.Celebrating 20 years of freedom, The Sibikwa Storytelling Festival aims to foster social cohesion, promote indigenous languages, give a platform to sign language, and build national identity.Organisers at the Sibikwa Arts Centre explain that the festival will include histories, languages, cultures and music in performances and workshops hosted by seasoned storytellers, musicians and clowns. It is on at the Soweto Theatre from 10 to 12 March, and then from 18 to 21 March at the centre.Performances and workshops will feature world-renowned storyteller Gcina Mhlophe; multi-instrumentalist Pops Mohamed with Musical San Stories; Clowns Without Borders; Mime le Mot (aka Sibo Masondo), an upcoming deaf mime artist from KwaZulu-Natal; the co-founder of Imisembe Yelanga Storytellers, Nonhlanhla Hadebe; multi-talented Mosoeu Ketlele of the Zanendaba Storytellers; Hlohonolo Dube from the Sibikwa Arts Centre; and veteran storyteller Mpho Molikeng from Lesotho. The Open Mic Sessions at Sibikwa will be MC’d by the Streetqueen, aka Ntsiki Mazwai. People can come and tell their own stories. There will be prizes are up for grabs.PROGRAMME FOR THE YOUNGSTERSThe programme at the Soweto Theatre is aligned to a younger audience. It will host pre-schoolers and children in grades one to three on 10 and 11 March. It will then host pupils in grades four to seven on 12 March.On 10 March, the festival will kick off with Clowns Without Borders South Africa at 11am. They will present Siyajabula, a fun-filled performance using nonverbal physical comedy with hilarious characters up to no-good; music; storytelling; and dance. The clowns will be followed by Eenie Meanie Greenie GROW performed by Mime le Mot. In this delightful show Eenie, a gardener, fends off bugs and a naughty monkey. A teachers’ workshop starts at 2.30pm presented by Clowns Without Borders. Storytelling – Tapping the Power of Narrative will cover techniques on how to tell stories, how to create stories and the value of storytelling in the classroom.The following day, seasoned storytellers Nonhlanhla Hadebe and Mosoeu Ketlele will tell a medley of African stories, such as Mthokozisi, the story of why sangomas wear animal skins; tales about how stories began; and The Eagle that did not Fly. The stories start at 10am.Mohamed will take over at 11am with Musical San Stories, in which he will share his knowledge of the San. The focus will be on respect for all creatures. He will play various traditional instruments throughout his stories.The Open Mic Session at 12pm will give participants, both young and old, the opportunity to tell their own stories. The afternoon teachers’ workshop will start at 2.30pm, facilitated by Dube. Story Angle is based on how stories are told. Participants will learn and understand the basic approach to storytelling.The session at Soweto Theatre will end on 12 March with Lesotho-born artist Molikeng, who will weave legends, folktales and traditional stories from the Mountain Kingdom into a unique African experience tailored for young children, accompanied by a variety of traditional musical instruments. At 11am, Hadebe and Ketlele will bring a medley of African stories such as Spider the Drummer, Rabbit on the Moon and Metsi to life, while broaching subjects as learning to listen and water awareness.GOING BACK TO DAVEYTONThe festival will move to the Sibikwa Arts Centre on 18 March, starting with a medley of African stories presented by Hadebe, for pre-schoolers and grades one to three, and Ketlele for children in grades four to seven from 10am.Clowns Without Borders South Africa will present Siyajabula at 11am for younger audiences, and internationally acclaimed storyteller, actor, poet, playwright, director and author Mhlophe, will mesmerise the audience with a selection of her most enthralling stories for children in grades four to seven.At noon, the Open Mic Session hosted by the Streetqueen will be open to all ages, and in the afternoon there will be a teachers’ workshop conducted by Mhlophe. She will focus on how to delve into our own personal journeys, using the book of our lives as a guide to create stories.Hadebe will be back on 19 March, presenting a medley of African stories such as Spider the Drummer and Rabbit on the Moon. A performance of Siyajabula at 11am will host stories by Molikeng and Mohamed’s Musical San Stories.The Open Mic Session will take place at noon, and the afternoon session at 2.30pm will be a teachers’ workshop titled Storytelling – Tapping the Power of Narrative. Presented by Clowns Without Borders, it will cover techniques on how to tell stories, how to create stories, and the value of storytelling in the classroom.Masondo’s Eenie Meanie Greenie GROW and Mohamed’s Musical San Stories will begin proceedings on 20 March at 10am. At 11am, there will be traditional stories from Lesotho with Molikeng and a performance by Mime le Mot called Point Blank, a collection of mimed stories inspired by the great French mime artist Marcel Marceau and infused with South African influences. Mime le Mot is a comedian at heart and his stories are deliciously funny. An Open Mic Session starts at noon.On 21 March, the last day of the festival, there will be a Storytelling Competition, open to anyone older than 15 who can tell a good story. Pre-booking is essential. Stories can be told in any of the official languages but should not be longer than 10 minutes. First prize is R3 000, second R1 500 and third R750, while a prize of R500 will be awarded to the most promising storyteller.Vetkoek and bunny chow will be available. Entry fees are R25 for the whole morning, R25 per workshop and R10 to enter the competition. For more information, visit the Sibikwa Arts Festival; for bookings contact Michael Mabena on 011 422 43 59 or email [email protected] FROM DAVEYTONThe arts centre was established in 1988 after a chance meeting between theatre stalwarts Smal Ndaba and Phyllis Klotz. Over the years, Sibikwa has given young people focus and hope for the future. It uses performances, festivals and workshops to raise awareness of the role the arts can play in community development.The centre uses the arts to validate the lives of ordinary people by creating plays which reflect their daily lives. Sibikwa promotes quality arts education, theatre performance, vocational training and job creation.last_img read more

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Limiting liability on the farm: An overview of Ohio’s LLC laws

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a relatively new type of business entity. The first LLC statute passed in Wyoming in 1977. Since then, all 50 states passed legislation permitting LLCs as an operating entity. Many Ohio farmers use the LLC as their preferred operating entity.In Ohio, an LLC is a legal entity created by Ohio statute. An LLC is considered to be separate and distinct from its owners. An LLC may have a single owner in Ohio, or it may have numerous owners. LLCs combine the best attributes of a corporation and a partnership. Individuals, corporations, other LLCs, trusts, and estates may be members in a single LLC. There is no limit on maximum members. The importance of an operating agreementWhen an agricultural operation chooses to operate as an LLC, that operation must consider drafting an operating agreement. An operating agreement specifies the financial responsibilities of the parties, how profits and losses are shared among members within the LLC, limitations on transfers of membership, and other basic principles of operation.If an LLC does not choose to draft an operating agreement, Ohio’s default rules apply. Ohio law prescribes default rules of operation for LLCs in R.C. Chapter 1705. However, LLC members often wish to modify state rules to tailor an LLC to their business. Ideally, agricultural operators should draft an operating agreement with the assistance of an attorney. Single member LLCsEvery state in the Midwest permits single-member Limited Liability Companies (SMLLCs). A single member LLC is an LLC which has one member or manager; that means that there are no other owners or managers of that LLC. In 2016, Ohio enacted R.C. 1705.031 which states that Ohio LLC laws apply to all LLCs, including those with only one member. Therefore, small agribusinesses that have only one member are not prevented from forming an LLC. Will a personal guaranty on a loan affect limited liability protection?Ohio farmers operating as an LLC enjoy the benefits of limited liability protection. Usually, that means that the debts and obligations of a farm LLC operation are solely those of the LLC. That means that a farmer is not personally liable for any debts or obligations incurred by the LLC.However, lenders, implement dealers, financial institutions, and others are finding ways around an LLC’s personal liability protection. Those parties are increasingly requiring that the members and managers of LLCs provide personal guarantees. That is, a member or manager of an LLC agrees to be personally liable for a debt or obligation, if an LLC is not able to pay. LLCs are not invincibleLimited Liability Companies are extremely popular among farmers in Ohio. However, LLCs merely limit liability. LLCs don’t create a perfect liability shield, they are subject to a concept known as “veil piercing” where the owners of a company are held personally liable for the actions of the company.Generally, a person cannot use a corporation to commit fraud on others or to use a corporation as an alter ego for a member’s own personal gain. Plainly speaking, Ohio courts may hold an owner of an LLC liable in certain cases of fraud committed by the LLC or where an LLC is undercapitalized and is not treated as a separate entity from a member (i.e. the LLC is used as an “alter ego”). While this is not a common scenario among farm business LLCs, LLC members should be aware that a business’s status as an LLC will not shield it from liability in all instances. Carrying liability insuranceMany LLC owners consider the protections under Ohio’s LLC laws to be sufficient. Some LLC members are satisfied that their personal assets are sufficiently protected and separated from LLC assets and LLC liabilities. However, every business should have liability insurance. Liability insurance is a relatively inexpensive means of managing liability exposure for injuries and physical damage to a third party. While insurance doesn’t lower liability, it gives the business a way to pay for damages in the event of an incident.The question of “how much liability insurance should a farm operation have?” is a difficult one. The amount of insurance that a farm should have must be determined on a case-by-case basis. Factors such as farm size, type of operation, location, and other factors impact the insurance needs of a farm operation.last_img read more

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The Practical Guide to Managing Actors on a Low-Budget Shoot

first_imgIf you have to keep costs down on your next indie film or video, properly managing your cast is essential for a successful (and enjoyable) operation.Cover image: Ed Wood (Walt Disney Studios).Low-budget filmmaking poses many unique challenges, and when members of smaller crews wear several hats, it’s easy for details to get lost in the shuffle. However, creating a fantastic working environment for your cast and crew is equally as important as telling a good story.In my years working in production, I’ve seen shoots all across the spectrum of professionalism, and the most memorably bad ones were those that lost sight of how they were treating the talent. Since actors are often day-players, they’ll go on to work on double or triple the amount of productions as above-the-line crew. Therefore, if an actor leaves your set with a bad opinion of the project, word can travel fast that you don’t know how to provide for your (often unpaid) cast. And that can be a big, fat scarlet letter on your next casting notice. Here are a few easy (and cheap!) ways to create a great working environment for talent of any caliber.Pre-ProductionThe best thing you can do for yourself, your cast, and your crew is to prep the heck out of your project. I can tell you from experience that anytime you think you might be done with pre-production, you’re not. There’s always something more you can do to ensure smooth sailing on set. What you lack in funding, you can make up for by investing time.Image via Shutterstock.Let’s face it: when we’re producing our own short films, there’s definitely not enough budget for a First Team PA or a 2nd AD, and sometimes not even enough for Vanities — costume design or hair and makeup, departments that typically step up to look after the actors’ personal needs. That being said, you can create a comfortable environment for your actors if you put in the work on the front end.When building your schedule, include plenty of time between set-ups to take care of everyone’s needs, but not so much that anyone is sitting around for too long. Schedule in blocks so that actors that won’t work until the second half of the day can be called closer to lunch rather than at the top of the day. No unpaid actor should be sitting around on your set waiting on you.When you’re booking or scouting locations, be sure to look into issues of comfort, not just technical specs. Investigate the bathroom situation, check for indoor and outdoor “green room” areas so that the talent has private or semi-private places to relax, rehearse, or prepare for difficult scenes. The more private, uncluttered space you can provide for your cast, the better your production will go.Introductory CommunicationsThe time between casting and shooting can be tenuous for creators and actors. A lack of communication sets a bad tone for your relationship with your actors. If you are running a small operation with no vanities, talent should hear from the director and the producer very soon after being offered a role — and throughout the pre-production process. They are relying on you for all information, including creative decisions, script changes, rehearsal times, shoot details, wardrobe notes, and so forth.Giving detailed and recurring reminders of these things will help you help yourself by ensuring that all talent consistently shows up at the right location at the right time with all the right materials. If you are a director or producer communicating with the talent yourself, below are some of the times when they should hear from you:Welcome: Assuming you have offered (and the actor has accepted) the role, send an email welcoming the actor to your production. If you are a director sending this email, be sure to CC your producer and mention in the body of the message that the producer can be contacted at any time to assist. On this email, include your shoot dates (note if they are tentative), a locked or updated copy of the script, rehearsal schedule (or poll, see below, under “Rehearsals”), and any questions you may have for the actor if this is a collaborative effort.Costume/HMU: It is imperative that talent hears from a director or someone in vanities about the aesthetic details for your production. Actors will need to know what they should bring/wear to set or how their character is going to look. The visual component of a character is as important as dialogue in telling a good story. Sourcing wardrobe from an actor’s own closet is a great way to save money, but it’s important to convey the bottom line to your actors that you are here to help piece together the costume. You never want to put pressure on an actor to make purchases. It’s best to include options, i.e. “I would prefer a short brown boot, but a black or green boot will do as well — see attached photos for inspiration.” It’s a great idea to attach photos to this email to guide actors when sifting through their own closets to pull wardrobe pieces. The fewer options they have to bring, the less cluttered your set will be. Remember: clutter is inhibitive. Pre-production reduces clutter!Rehearsals: Be very clear with your actors both in your casting notice and in all post-decision communications about the time commitment you expect from them for rehearsals. If you have a larger cast, you may want to host a table read during which all members of the cast come together to read the entire script and talk through any issues. If you can, send the entire rehearsal schedule (table reads, fittings, chemistry/performance rehearsals, blocking rehearsals, and camera rehearsals) up front so your actors can block out the time. It’s very difficult to guarantee that everyone can submit to your schedule if you are not compensating them for this time, so it can be helpful to send a preliminary poll to see what dates/times work for everyone. I like Doodle for this.Talent Information Sheet/Dietary Restrictions: There is no better way to get to know your actors than to take them out for coffee before your shoot, but if this is off-limits for any number of reasons, asking after their needs via email will suffice. A good, comprehensive talent information sheet will include basic details: contact info, emergency contact, special diet/allergies, availability, how they would like to be credited, etc. I also like to add some more personal questions about an actor’s preferences or needs. Ask questions like: What is your Starbucks order? What is your favorite snack to see at crafty? If you ever need a pick-me-up on set, what can we provide for you? What kind of space do you need to prepare for emotional scenes? How long do you typically need to prepare for a scene? Do you like to stay in character between takes? You should tailor these questions to your shoot, and they will help you build your schedule.The goal of doing this work in pre-production is to walk onto the set on the first day of your shoot having a rapport with your actors and a good idea of how best to work together. You will find that this makes directing or producing a low-budget shoot far more enjoyable.Image via The New York Times.The Day of Your ShootIf you’ve worked hard in pre-production to rehearse the material, build a smart schedule, and create a relationship with your cast and crew, you get to walk on set and simply create. Here are just a few things to keep in mind when you’re on set.Paperwork: Even if your shoot is just you and a few friends, it’s a good idea to create paperwork for all positions. There are a number of templates available online for crew deal memos (CDMs), simple contracts for actors, and so forth. It’s good practice to print and maintain an Exhibit G even when you’re working with actors that are not a part of the Screen Actors Guild. This will help you familiarize yourself with talent protocol and remind you to provide adequate breaks (lunch after six hours, and so forth).Green Rooms: Actors should be called after crew to ensure that private holding and rehearsal spaces are set up when they arrive. Any private area will suffice as a green room, even if it only has a few folding chairs in it. Stock the green room with bottled water, requested snacks (it’s a nice touch if you can swing it), and at least one hard copy of the script or the day’s sides and shooting schedule. These little touches make all the difference and will reflect well on you in the long run. Be sure to post signage on the door if the holding room or attached bathroom is private, so you don’t have crew entering the space. Take into account comfort and scenes of a sensitive nature. If an actor will be in water, cold, or partially nude at any point, be sure there is someone on hand during shooting to offer a robe and then lead the actor to holding when a reset will take longer than a minute or two.Private Conversations: Once an actor is led to the holding area and allowed to get settled, it’s a good idea for the director to spend some time alone with the actor before they are called to the makeup chair or to set. Actors will have different emotional needs for each scene, and it’s important that they receive personal attention from the director in the holding room — as opposed to on set, surrounded by people and commotion.Invitations to Set: In an ideal world, you will have a 2nd AD or First Team PA that can keep track of all actors’ locations at all times and formally invite them to set, but that’s almost never the case on DIY productions. I have witnessed firsthand the frustration of actors who are being shouted at from across location by the 1st AD or Key Set PA. It’s bad for concentration, and it’s simply never appropriate. Set the tone with a personal invitation. Remind an actor as they approach what you are about to shoot. If you don’t have a production assistant you can designate to go to holding, knock on the door, and invite an actor to set, it’s imperative that the director or producer take care of this. It may seem like a formality, but I promise you it will make all the difference to your actors.Coffee Runs: If you can afford to make a coffee run at least once during your shoot, this small gesture can really make the difference on a particularly tough or long day. Show your cast and crew that you value their hard work and have a PA take individual coffee orders. Hand-delivering an iced mocha custom latte to someone can work serious magic for morale. If you can do it, do it. I promise you people will remember it.Rides/Travel: You will have coordinated with your actors beforehand if they need a ride to set on any given day, but be sure to offer to cover a ride-share or a small amount of gas money if they drove themselves to set. This won’t cost a lot for you, and it will make a huge difference to the individual. Show your actors that you are interested in taking care of them and making sure they don’t lose money working on your shoot. This is especially important if you are not financially compensating your cast. At the very least, you can cover their travel costs.Wrapping: How you close out the day says as much as how you began it. If you have any qualms with how the day went, keep them to yourself until you are alone as a producer-and-director team. At the end of each day, thank your actors for their work, ask if they have any questions about tomorrow’s scenes, and make sure they have a ride home (and back the following day). If this is an actor’s last day, a director or 1st AD should announce loudly upon completion of the actor’s last scene, “That’s a wrap on [Insert Name]!” This is an appropriate time to applaud and take a quick moment to celebrate. Never skip this detail, even if your actors are your high school friends. Let them see how grateful you are. Image via Shutterstock.Post-ProductionYou have successfully wrapped your DIY film project. Congratulations! I’m sure you’re exhausted. But the worst thing you can do now is disappear. Actors who are working for little or no pay are in it for one thing: the product. If you don’t complete your project, or at the very least provide materials for your actors’ reels, then what did they achieve by working with you?At the end of your last day, or the day after wrapping, you should send an email to your cast members individually thanking them for their work. Include several things in this email: a link to behind-the-scenes photographs if you have them, social media handles to follow the project as it moves through post-production, a projected completion date, any premiere plans as they develop, and information on when and how to receive footage for their reels.This footage doesn’t need to be color-corrected or edited — it just needs to be a sample or good cross-section of their big scenes on your project. This is often how non-union or beginning actors get compensated, so do not skip this step. Wrap up your work together on a high note of professionalism and thoughtfulness. They worked for you, and completing this short checklist during post-production is how you can continue to work for them. Image via Shutterstock.The bottom line here is that actors want to work on good scripts. They are grateful for opportunities to collaborate and create good work. But with the rise of digital production techniques, there is so much content being created, often by first-time producers and directors who unintentionally mismanage talent. Whether you’re making your first film or your fiftieth film, good casting is key, and the best way to ensure top-notch casting on any budget is with a reputation for taking care of your people.Filmmaking is a business built on connections, and every person that can vouch for you is another person that can help you make the project of your dreams.last_img read more

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Chelsea run riot against Everton, Stoke shock Man City at home

first_imgChelsea hammered Everton 6-3 to take the top spot in the Premier League standingsChelsea showed off its new-found attacking sparkle in a 6-3 win over Everton on a day Manchester City lost its cutting edge to slip to a surprise first defeat in its Premier League title defense.City’s 1-0 home loss to Stoke on Saturday was exacerbated by its title rival’s wild victory at Goodison Park, in which Spain striker Diego Costa scored in the first and last minutes to continue the superb start to his Chelsea career.Another big-money arrival in English football, Angel Di Maria, made a promising debut for Manchester United but its 0-0 draw at promoted Burnley left Louis van Gaal’s side with just two points from three games – despite a spending spree of 130 million pounds ($215 million) this summer.Chelsea has no such problems, with a third straight win leaving the team top of the early standings on goal difference from surprising Swansea.In Costa, Chelsea also has arguably the standout player so far this season with four goals already since joining from Atletico Madrid.”He’s literally got everything,” Chelsea captain John Terry said. “He’s been brilliant, and he’s off to a flying start.”With Costa in such electric form and Cesc Fabregas picking up two more assists, Chelsea has an attacking swagger it lacked last season.”I want the team to play the way we did, to be positive,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said. “We were killers in attack.”Goals by Costa – after just 34 seconds – and Branislav Ivanovic put Chelsea 2-0 ahead inside three minutes, only for Kevin Mirallas to reduce the deficit for Everton just before halftime.advertisementSeamus Coleman’s own goal in the 66th minute sparked a rush of five goals in a chaotic 11-minute spell during which both defenses were carved open to the dismay of the team’s managers.Steven Naismith made it 3-2, Nemanja Matic regained Chelsea’s two-goal lead in the 74th but Everton came back again through Samuel Eto’o’s header on his debut, against the club that released him in the summer. Ramires put Chelsea 5-3 ahead and Costa wrapped up a madcap second half with a low finish after a back-heel from substitute Didier Drogba.In an all-action display, Costa was booked for a tussle with Coleman, and then goaded the defender provocatively after the right back’s own goal – sparking a melee with Everton’s American goalkeeper Tim Howard.”There are certain players who come to the Premier League who need to understand the ethics and the culture,” Everton manager Roberto Martinez said.Swansea is tied on nine points with Chelsea after beating West Bromwich Albion 3-0 thanks to two goals from Nathan Dyer and another from Wayne Routledge.Also Saturday, Wilfried Zaha scored an injury-time equalizer on his second debut for Crystal Palace in a 3-3 draw at Newcastle, Southampton won 3-1 at West Ham and Queens Park Rangers also earned a first win of the season by beating Sunderland 1-0.City and United had hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of attacking talent on show in the third round of the Premier League but couldn’t muster a goal between them.A flat display by City, five days after its impressive 3-1 win over Liverpool, was punished when former United striker Mame Diouf ran 70 meters in the 58th minute in a solo effort that was capped by a finish between goalkeeper Joe Hart’s legs.Stoke City shocked the reigning champions Manchester City 1-0 at the Etihad stadium”I tried just to stay on my feet and keep on going,” Diouf said. “We will enjoy this win – it is a big one.”It was Stoke’s first-ever goal at the Etihad and earned the team a first win of the season under Mark Hughes, the former City manager.City failed to score at home for only the second time in 71 Premier League games, even with Argentina striker Sergio Aguero back in the lineup after regaining full fitness.”It’s a surprising defeat because we don’t expect to lose against Stoke but these games sometimes happen,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini said. “Really we were not very creative, we did not find the space and that is credit to Stoke.”Di Maria made his first start for United after his British-record move from Real Madrid for 59.7 million pounds ($99 million) and showed enough signs that he will be a success at Old Trafford.He still couldn’t inspire Van Gaal’s team to a first win in any competition this season, with United lacking a cutting edge despite fielding Di Maria, Juan Mata, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney in an exciting front four. Van Persie was denied twice with United’s best chances.advertisement”When you have two points, that is not good enough and that is disappointing,” said Van Gaal, whose team lost 4-0 to third-tier MK Dons on Tuesday in the League Cup.”At the moment it’s certainly not a world-class team, but we have to wait, and have belief that it will come.”last_img read more

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