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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away — a slightly longer time ago, actually, than usual — there's a little girl named Jyn. She has a dad who was an important cog in the Empire's war machine until he went on the lam. As Rogue One starts, his Imperial overlord (Ben Mendelsohn, sneering up a dust storm) has caught up with him, and it's Jyn who must go on the lam.

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The documentary "Flory's Flame" gets its Connecticut premiere this Saturday at the University of Hartford.

The film explores the life of composer and performer Flory Jagoda, who is credited with preserving the traditional Sephardic music of the Balkans, an art form that was nearly wiped away by the Nazis during World War II.

Courtesy ECSU

Connecticut is hosting two celebrations of Latin American culture.

benjamincleary.net

It's just by happenstance that we ran into three short films this week that are both remarkable and newly available online. One of them is really something, and because of that, you have to figure, it won this year's Oscar for Best Live Action Short. One of them is merely clever and well done. And the last is an animated short that will utterly defy your expectations of an animated short.

And the best part is: You can watch all three of them in just 27 minutes.

Crtystal Emery

According to a 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, black Americans make up less than six percent of the nation's physicians and surgeons. A new documentary shines a light on the topic, specifically focusing on women in the field.

Film Screenshot

For the last three years, the White House has hosted a youth film festival, and this year -- out of over 700 submissions from schools across the country -- a group of middle schoolers from western Connecticut made a film that was chosen as an official selection.

Sublime99 / Flickr

Bill Murray has been involved with some of our favorite movies of all time: Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Moonrise Kingdom, and so many more. He doesn't like managers or agents and rumor has it, once agreed to play Garfield because he thought it was a Coen Brothers film.

If you've seen Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book or the Toy Story movies, you've seen the work of animator Floyd Norman; for decades, he has helped bring Disney and Pixar classics to life.

Now 81, Norman still works for Disney, where he has plied his trade, on and off, since he became the studio's first African-American animator in the 1950s.

Scholastic, Inc.

Filmmaker and producer Morton Schindel died last week at the age of 98. For decades, Schindel's film innovations faithfully brought to life some of the most beloved children's books of all time from his Weston, Connecticut studio.

Joss Whedon: His Work, His Life, He's Here!

Aug 2, 2016
Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Originally, we planned on doing a show about Joss Whedon -- without Joss Whedon. We invited a scholar of his work to talk about his television and film resume, and a close friend, professor and mentor to speak on his directorial style. However, Joss was interested enough in what we're planning to join the show! So now, it's a show about Joss Whedon -- with Joss Whedon. 

When most of us think about computer hacking, we picture Julian Assange leaking government secrets or a shadowy, bad-shave crook in some former Soviet republic hoovering up credit card info from a chain store. But while folks like these do stir up all manner of trouble, a much deeper danger lies elsewhere.

Thegreatlandoni / flickr creative commons

From scientists to fiction writers, conspiracy theorists to theologians, aliens have captured the imagination of us all. But as we ponder the possibilities let us pause to ask ourselves why.

Why do these yet to be found creatures from space occupy such a central role in the musings of so many? And should their existence be confirmed, what will it mean for us on Earth?

Flickr Creative Commons

My Batman story begins with a crime. I was in third grade. I went to the barber shop in West Hartford Center where there were comic books to read while you waited.

I had never seen any superhero comic before and I started reading a Batman story. It was great but I didn't have enough time to finish it. So, when my haircut was done, I took it home with me. 

Olivier Bacquet / Creative Commons

Most of us know Cinderella as the poor servant girl who stuck it to her mean stepmother and stepsisters by proving she was good enough to marry the rich and handsome prince. She had a little help from a fairy godmother, a pumpkin coach, and a foot small enough to fit into the glass slipper.

International Festival of Arts and Ideas

The New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas is well underway. It’s two weeks filled with an eclectic mix of programs and includes artists from around the world. 

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