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The Hollywood Chai

The Hollywood Chai

By The Hollywood Chai
Welcome to The Hollywood Chai! Join up-and-coming artist, Jon Akkawi, who has worked on various projects over the course of his burgeoning entertainment career from feature length scripts to TV pilots and episodic web series and TV Bible consulting and all the work in between in making sure that Arabs, Middle Easterners and North Africans break Hollywood, as he attempts to spill all the chai on Hollywood and expose the many difficulties and problems that face emerging artists alongside special guests each week and their own adventures through the Entertainment Industry.
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102 | Arabs Break Hollywood with Sabine Kahwaji, Part Two

The Hollywood Chai

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110 | Genre Masterclass Part One: The Psyche of Film with Nick Akkawi (Thriller)
Genres are one of the most important elements of storytelling! A film genre is defined as the stylistic or thematic category for motion pictures based on similarities either in the narrative elements, aesthetic approach, or the emotional response to the film. Screenwriter and scholar Eric R. Williams identifies eleven super-genres in his screenwriters’ taxonomy, claiming that all feature length narrative films can be classified as action, crime, fantasy, horror, romance, science fiction, slice of life, sports, thriller, war and Western. For today’s podcast, I will be starting a new series called “Genre Masterclasses” and I will be enlisting the help of the one and only, future Dr. Nicholas Akkawi. He’s a PhD student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, specializing in medicinal chemistry and working on different experiments and projects researching cures for things I cannot mention. Anyways, our bond for film has always kept us together no matter the fights we’ve gotten into, and I’m delighted he accepted to join me out of his busy schedule to participate in this special subseries. So, here is part one of the series…a genre masterclass in the psychological thriller realm. Thriller films are typically hybridized with other super-genres like horror, action or sci-fi. But in this case, we analyze the phenomena of the thriller on its own as a psychological subgenre. --- Follow us on Instagram: @thehollywoodchai and Twitter: @ChaiHollywood --- This episode is sponsored by: Dalia Web Design - for all your website designing needs and maintenance: http://www.daliawebdesign.com/  ZENA Creations - for customizable gifts, merchandise and whatever you need: https://www.instagram.com/zena.creation
57:25
September 10, 2021
109 | A Dummies Guide to Film School with Perla Nino
Ah the time old question of, should I go to film school? Or should I not waste my money? If you're a junior or senior in High School who loves film or acting, I know you've asked yourself that question. And with the emergence of many filmmakers and artists that don't necessarily study film in college that are making it, it's breaking the boundaries of film academia that people thought you needed to make it big! But being the child of immigrants, many of us come at college and academia from a different angle than others. So on this episode, we talk about film schools, experiences and create a guide for dummies on film school.  Today's special guest is one of my cousins, the one and only Perla Nino. She's a Film Studies student at Chapman University in Southern California where she is currently focusing on publishing, film editing and sound design. And let me tell you is she freaking talented! She loves working with women in film, no matter their role, and is constantly inspired by representation and inclusivity in the industry as she herself fights for more and better representation and inclusivity for women in film. We sat down together and discussed our experiences in film school, our goals and ambitions and why we think it is important to pursue an education in film even when many tell you not to go. Happy Chai spilling!  --- Follow us on Instagram: @thehollywoodchai and Twitter: @ChaiHollywood --- This episode is sponsored by: Dalia Web Design - for all your website designing needs and maintenance: http://www.daliawebdesign.com/ ZENA Creations - for customizable gifts, merchandise and whatever you need: https://www.instagram.com/zena.creation
01:05:03
September 3, 2021
108 | 10 Things We Hate About the Emmys with Lexie Albuquerque, Part Two
Our favorite time of year is here! Television Awards Season! With the 73rd Annual Primetime Emmys just around the corner (September 19th), Jon takes it upon himself to watch EVERY nominated show no matter the category it's nominated in...whether a Primetime Category (like Acting, Directing, Writing or Programming) to the Creative Categories (Cinematography, Casting, Makeup, Music, etc.). Over 60 shows have been nominated across over 14 networks and 110 different awards, the Emmys present the most awards presented to a visual media in Hollywood. We have taken on the mission of watching every nominee to bring to you our predictions of who should win and who will win each Emmy in the major categories. But we need some help! Today's special guest hails from Brazil, the iconic Lexie Albuquerque, a Brazilian writer, actress and developer. We first met in our graduate program for Television Comedy Writing at UCLA and have been spilling Hollywood chai and complaining about the changes we want to make to TV since Day One. So what better person to dissect the nominees than her! In part two of this two part special, we talk about and dissect the following Emmy categories: Outstanding Directing and Writing (Comedy, Drama, Limited Series/TV Movie/Special) as well as Outstanding Supporting Performances in the same genre categories while guessing who will win each category and who should win each category. Make sure to check out Part One, from the week prior! --- Follow us on Instagram: @thehollywoodchai and Twitter: @ChaiHollywood Follow Lexie on Twitter: @littlebitlexie --- This episode is sponsored by: Dalia Web Design - for all your website designing needs and maintenance: http://www.daliawebdesign.com/ ZENA Creations - for customizable gifts, merchandise and whatever you need: https://www.instagram.com/zena.creation
01:24:41
August 27, 2021
107 | 10 Things We Hate About the Emmys with Lexie Albuquerque, Part One
Our favorite time of year is here! Television Awards Season! With the 73rd Annual Primetime Emmys just around the corner (September 19th), Jon takes it upon himself to watch EVERY nominated show no matter the category it's nominated in...whether a Primetime Category (like Acting, Directing, Writing or Programming) to the Creative Categories (Cinematography, Casting, Makeup, Music, etc.). Over 60 shows have been nominated across over 14 networks and 110 different awards, the Emmys present the most awards presented to a visual media in Hollywood. We have taken on the mission of watching every nominee to bring to you our predictions of who should win and who will win each Emmy in the major categories. But we need some help! Today's special guest hails from Brazil, the iconic Lexie Albuquerque, a Brazilian writer, actress and developer. We first met in our graduate program for Television Comedy Writing at UCLA and have been spilling Hollywood chai and complaining about the changes we want to make to TV since Day One. So what better person to dissect the nominees than her! In part one of this two part special, we talk about and dissect the following Emmy categories: Outstanding Programs (Comedy, Drama, Limited Series/TV Movie/Special) as well as Outstanding Leading Performances in the same genre categories while guessing who will win each category and who should win each category. Make sure to check out Part Two, next week! --- Follow us on Instagram: @thehollywoodchai and Twitter: @ChaiHollywood Follow Lexie on Twitter: @littlebitlexie --- This episode is sponsored by: Dalia Web Design - for all your website designing needs and maintenance: http://www.daliawebdesign.com/   ZENA Creations - for customizable gifts, merchandise and whatever you need: https://www.instagram.com/zena.creation
01:13:22
August 20, 2021
106 | Diversity in Hollywood
Diversity is an issue that Hollywood still doesn't seem to have a handle on. Every year, more and more stories and films and television programs get made with more diverse stories yet they are helmed or created by people that are not representative of those diverse stories. With each passing day, many BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and women (all underrepresented groups in Hollywood) fight to share and tell their own stories.  On September 8, 2020, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), also known as the Academy, announced a set of new eligibility guidelines for movies that want to compete for Best Picture. This would hopefully set a new standard (aside from inclusion riders) in Hollywood, one in which more and more diverse stories are written, produced and told through the lens of those respective artists (cast and crew). In this episode, I breakdown these standards and go in depth on all four categories of inclusion standards and how they hopefully are a step in the right direction.  --- Follow us on Instagram: @thehollywoodchai and Twitter: @ChaiHollywood https://www.oscars.org/news/academy-establishes-representation-and-inclusion-standards-oscarsr-eligibility  --- This episode is sponsored by: Dalia Web Design - for all your website designing needs and maintenance: http://www.daliawebdesign.com/   ZENA Creations - for customizable gifts, merchandise and whatever you need: https://www.instagram.com/zena.creation
24:00
August 13, 2021
105 | The 3B Syndrome (featuring the work of Mera Nino)
Hollywood (and Western media) has a consistent record of Arab stereotyping and bashing. Some film academics, particularly of Arab descent (i.e., Laila Lalami & Dr. Jack Shaheen, whose work will be mentioned in this post), call this the “3 B Syndrome” which is frequently used to describe Arabs in the mass media: as bombers, billionaires or belly dancers. These depictions are referred to as tropes of empire - a familiar and repeated theme, character, narrative, etc., which performs ideological work through the use of language (metaphor, figurative, non-literal) and discourse. “The work done by the perpetuation and ubiquity of these tropes is manifested in the way they essentialize (characterise by unchanging essences), otherize (essentialized characteristics polar opposites of Western characteristics), and create absences (‘other’ is depicted as lacking in positive traits) in the subject.” The Arab community in North America is vibrant and thriving but is in distress over these issues. We are doctors, business people, engineers, scientists, judges, humanitarians, advocates for human rights, and in short a productive segment of the fabric of this great society. Thankfully, the “3 B Syndrome” is slowly disintegrating and tropes of empire are being brought out of the shadows where they can be exposed and destroyed, BUT, there is so much more work to do. From the independent studios to the big powerhouse studios (I’m looking at you Disney). Remember, #ArabsBreakHollywood & #MiddleEasternsBreakHollywood. Some useful links provided below! --- Follow us on Instagram: @thehollywoodchai and Twitter: @ChaiHollywood https://www.ibiblio.org/prism/jan98/anti_arab.html#:~:text=Hollywood%20has%20had%20a%20consistent,%2C%20belly%20dancers%2C%20or%20billionaires. https://hegemonyremedy.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/the-three-b-syndrome/  --- This episode is sponsored by: Dalia Web Design - for all your website designing needs and maintenance: http://www.daliawebdesign.com/  ZENA Creations - for customizable gifts, merchandise and whatever you need: https://www.instagram.com/zena.creation
23:24
August 6, 2021
104 | The 3 F's of Hollywood: Film, Feminism, & Festivals with Desirae Bitar, Part Two
There are three prominent elements of Hollywood that happen to begin with the letter F. The first is FILM...I mean that is Hollywood's backbone and main export besides movie stars. The second is FEMINISM...in the 21st century and the emergence of the #MeToo and #TimesUp Movements, studios, casts and crews must advocate for the advances of the careers of women working in Hollywood - to achieve parity and transform the culture. The third is FESTIVAL...a cultural and industry format of premiering and showcasing voices that acts as a gatekeeping strategy that needs to be changed and altered. This is episode is part two of that conversation with special guest, Miss Lebanon herself, Desirae Bitar, a recent Cognitive psychology graduate from UC Riverside that is on her way to law school but first and foremost...she is the biggest cinephile to grace this Earth. I mean when she was just a child, she'd say her favorite film was "The Godfather." She's here to give us her insight and discuss what we call the 3 F's of Hollywood: Film, Feminism and Festivals. We spoke about our views on the transforming culture with hiring women to helm and lead films as well as some of our favorite films and discussed the gatekeeping pillars that exist in festivals. We had so much to talk about that we split up our conversation into two different episodes (103 and 104)! Check out the Women in Film organization: www.womeninfilm.org --- Follow us on Instagram: @thehollywoodchai and Twitter: @ChaiHollywood --- This episode is sponsored by: Dalia Web Design - for all your website designing needs and maintenance: http://www.daliawebdesign.com/ ZENA Creations - for customizable gifts, merchandise and whatever you need: https://www.instagram.com/zena.creations/
50:29
July 30, 2021
103 | The 3 F's of Hollywood: Film, Feminism, & Festivals with Desirae Bitar, Part One
There are three prominent elements of Hollywood that happen to begin with the letter F. The first is FILM...I mean that is Hollywood's backbone and main export besides movie stars. The second is FEMINISM...in the 21st century and the emergence of the #MeToo and #TimesUp Movements, studios, casts and crews must advocate for the advances of the careers of women working in Hollywood - to achieve parity and transform the culture. The third is FESTIVAL...a cultural and industry format of premiering and showcasing voices that acts as a gatekeeping strategy that needs to be changed and altered.  Today's special guest is Miss Lebanon herself, Desirae Bitar, a recent Cognitive psychology graduate from UC Riverside that is on her way to law school but first and foremost...she is the biggest cinephile to grace this Earth. I mean when she was just a child, she'd say her favorite film was "The Godfather." She's here to give us her insight and discuss what we call the 3 F's of Hollywood: Film, Feminism and Festivals. We spoke about our views on the transforming culture with hiring women to helm and lead films as well as some of our favorite films and discussed the gatekeeping pillars that exist in festivals. We had so much to talk about that we split up our conversation into two different episodes (103 and 104)! Stay tuned for more! Check out the Women in Film organization: www.womeninfilm.org --- Follow us on Instagram: @thehollywoodchai and Twitter: @ChaiHollywood --- This episode is sponsored by: Dalia Web Design - for all your website designing needs and maintenance: http://www.daliawebdesign.com/   ZENA Creations - for customizable gifts, merchandise and whatever you need: https://www.instagram.com/zena.creations/
47:35
July 23, 2021
102 | Arabs Break Hollywood with Sabine Kahwaji, Part Two
Join up-and-coming artist, Jon Akkawi, who has worked on various projects over the course of his burgeoning entertainment career from feature length scripts to TV pilots and episodic web series and TV Bible consulting and all the work in between in making sure that Arabs, Middle Easterners and North Africans break Hollywood, as he attempts to spill all the chai on Hollywood and expose the many difficulties and problems that face emerging artists alongside special guests each week and their own adventures through the Entertainment Industry. Today's we continue Part Two of our Arabs Break Hollywood conversation with special guest, the iconic Sabine Kahwaji, an Arab-Canadian filmmaker, music videographer, screenwriter and documentarian. The powers of social media brought us together and we quickly became friends and #ArabsBreakHollywood partners-in-crime. We sat down and talked about our work and our ideas on how Hollywood can better promote diversity and create a more inclusive environment for all sorts of stories to be told and what we're doing for our mission statement of Arabs Breaking Hollywood. Check out her website and work: https://www.sabinekahwaji.com/ Follow Sabine on Instagram!: @sabinekfilm AND @skfilmsmediahouse --- Follow us on Instagram: @thehollywoodchai and Twitter: @ChaiHollywood --- This episode is sponsored by: Dalia Web Design - for all your website designing needs and maintenance: http://www.daliawebdesign.com/  ZENA Creations - for customizable gifts, merchandise and whatever you need: https://www.instagram.com/zena.creations/
35:05
July 16, 2021
101 | Arabs Break Hollywood with Sabine Kahwaji, Part One
Welcome to The Hollywood Chai! Join up-and-coming artist, Jon Akkawi, who has worked on various projects over the course of his burgeoning entertainment career from feature length scripts to TV pilots and episodic web series and TV Bible consulting and all the work in between in making sure that Arabs, Middle Easterners and North Africans break Hollywood, as he attempts to spill all the chai on Hollywood and expose the many difficulties and problems that face emerging artists alongside special guests each week and their own adventures through the Entertainment Industry.  Today's special guest is the iconic Sabine Kahwaji, an Arab-Canadian filmmaker, music videographer, screenwriter and documentarian. The powers of social media brought us together and we quickly became friends and #ArabsBreakHollywood partners-in-crime. We sat down and talked about our work and our ideas on how Hollywood can better promote diversity and create a more inclusive environment for all sorts of stories to be told and what we're doing for our mission statement of Arabs Breaking Hollywood. We had so much to talk about that we split up our conversation into two different episodes! Stay tuned for more! Check out her website and work: https://www.sabinekahwaji.com/  Follow her on Instagram!: @sabinekfilm AND @skfilmsmediahouse --- Support us at https://anchor.fm/the-hollywood-chai/support --- This episode is sponsored by: Dalia Web Design - for all your website designing needs and maintenance: http://www.daliawebdesign.com/ ZENA Creations - for customizable gifts, merchandise and whatever you need: https://www.instagram.com/zena.creations/
31:45
July 9, 2021