Archives for April 25, 2015

Storied Streets completely destroys the stereotypical images we have about the homeless


Storied Streets explores homelessness across America by telling the stories of those who live it every day. Storied Streets explores the issue of homelessness across the country. The journey starts in LA and ends in New York covering 13 cities across the country. The film will shatter the stereotypes most of us have about the homeless population. Their stories are real, raw and compelling. These stories, coupled with the fact that right now homelessness is growing at an unprecedented rate in America, is the genesis behind this film. It will provide a window into their struggles, question stereotypes and change the way you feel about homelessness. Directed by Thomas A. Morgan & Jack Henry Robbins. Executive Produced by Susan Sarandon & Morgan Spurlock.


Storied Streets

Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Critic, Age 13



See Interviews below:



This film completely destroys the stereotypical image of the homeless and makes you rethink what you should have said to that person you saw on the street. Storied Streets is truly inspiring and I believe everyone should watch it.


This is a documentary. But, it tells stories like none other that are not only terrible and sad, but also inspirational and heartwarming. The story looks at different homeless people and shows that they are not people who are lazy and just want to make money without any work. It shows hard working people who just, sadly, can’t afford a home. And, because of that, they are dehumanized and try not to appear homeless because they believe it is shameful.


This documentary not does a phenomenal job of showing statistics and evidence of this problem and what should be brought to our attention. It also shows how we as normal, every day people can easily fix it. This is something that a lot of documentaries don’t have. This film is well produced and directed which makes it enjoyable to watch and thought provoking at the same time.


One of my favorite stories in the film is about a boy who is now around 18-years-old. His mother abandoned him in his freshman year of high school and, instead of finding her, he concentrated on his education and worked hard. He doesn’t appear to be homeless and is pretty much the complete opposite of what you might think to be a homeless person. I was happy to see that he is now going to college.


This film is rather mature so I recommend this to ages 12 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars. It is a well told story and also offers good pro-active solutions for dealing with homelessness. This film is playing in select theaters now and is available for digital download and streaming.


Credit: KIDS FIRST! Coming Attractions,

Albert Maysles Reveals the Magic of Fashion Icon Iris Apfel


Veteran documentarian Albert Maysles shares the life story of Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades. More than a fashion film, the documentary is a story about creativity and how, even at Iris’ advanced age, a soaring free spirit continues to inspire. Iris portrays a singular woman whose enthusiasm for fashion, art and people are life’s sustenance and reminds us that dressing, and indeed life, is nothing but an experiment. Despite the abundance of glamour in her current life, she continues to embrace the values and work ethic established during a middle-class Queens upbringing during the Great Depression. I feel lucky to be working. If you’re lucky enough to do something you love, everything else follows. KIDS FIRST! Critic Kendyl P. comments, “Iris is very witty, funny and inspirational. Even in her 90s, she continues to educate young aspiring fashion designers.” See her full review below.



Kendyl Powell, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13



Iris is a great documentary, particularly if you have a passion for fashion.  Iris Apfel is a 94-year-old woman who embraces her unique eye for fashion and style. She takes the simplest things from shops and stores all over town and dresses them up in a variety of ways. She accessorizes her clothing by accenting them with very large and unique pieces of jewelry. Large pearl necklaces with big, bright colorful bracelets are only a few items that Iris uses.  She believes each outfit needs to have color and sometimes lots of it.  A lot of designers and fashion icons love her style and creativity.


The message of this documentary, produced by veteran documentarian Albert Maysles, is “success is a sacrifice.” Iris talks about how she always wanted to have kids, travel and have a successful career. She realized that she could not have it all and be successful. She did not want her kids to be raised by someone else. So, she chose to purse her career and travel the world with her husband, Carl Apfel.  Although Iris did not have kids as she once hoped, she still feels successful and that her life has made a positive impact in the fashion industry.


Iris is very witty, funny and inspirational. Even in her 90s, she continues to educate young aspiring fashion designers. She believes it will be a lost art if people do not learn the history of fashion and its origin.


The film Iris is a wonderful documentary. It is perfect for girls and boys ages 13 to 18-years-old who aspire to learn more about the fashion industry.  Even if you are not in the industry and want to watch a good film about a wise woman who continues to inspire others, this film is a perfect selection. Iris will be released in select theaters April 29, 2015. I give this movie 4 out of 5 shining stars.





PHOTO CAPTION:  LA Zoo mom and baby chimps

The Los Angeles Zoo offers a unique gift idea for Mother’s Day encompassing two opportunities in one: ADOPT-ing an L.A. Zoo animal in Mom’s name while also helping to save endangered species.  With all the Zoo’s adorable new babies born recently, animal ADOPT-ers have the option to choose a mother animal or simply Mom’s favorite animal.  Priced at $60, the Mother’s Day package includes a personalized certificate, a photo-factsheet, a window decal and a 4″x6″ magnet framed photo of the animal taken by one of the Zoo’s award-winning photographers.

The ADOPT program, which stands for “Animals Depend On People, Too” and is available throughout the year, is a personal way to help the Los Angeles Zoo in its wildlife conservation efforts, and a fun way to create a special bond at the Zoo.  Funds from the program help the Los Angeles Zoo participate in more than 40 international conservation programs that help endangered species thrive in the wild and build populations in captivity to hedge against extinction.  Additional one-of-a-kind benefits are available at higher levels, which range from $35 to $1,000.  ADOPT-ing an animal is tax deductible too!

The landmark LOS ANGELES ZOO AND BOTANICAL GARDENS, drawing 1.6 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered.  Its lush grounds on 113 acres feature a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants.  Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife.  Among its most popular habitats are the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles), Elephants of Asia, Campo Gorilla Reserve and Rainforest of the Americas.  The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), which has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments, has 60,000 member households representing more than 240,000 adults and children.  As evidence of the Zoo’s popularity, GLAZA attracts one of the largest membership bases of any cultural organization in Los Angeles.

For additional information, visit or call (323) 644-6035 for more information or to place an order over the phone.
Credit: LA Zoo.