Saturday, 2 March 2013

Naomie Harris, the brainy British beauty starring in The First Grader - 20.5 2011


Naomie Harris, the brainy British beauty starring in The First Grader.

Naomie Harris, 34, has been acting in Britain since she was nine, and along the way she has managed to earn a degree in political science from Cambridge and has trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Director Danny Boyle (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire)introduced her to international audiences in 2002 in 28 Days Later, his hit film about Londoners combating zombies. Most recently Harris starred in Boyle’s very successful production of Frankenstein at the U.K.’s National Theatre. “Danny is a complete and utter genius,” says Harris. “He is absolutely brilliant at giving notes: This is what you need to be giving the audience, this is what you need to be feeling.… You relax and let yourself be carried through the journey by him.” This month she stars in The First Grader (National Geographic Entertainment), which was an audience favorite at both the Telluride and Toronto film festivals. Based on an article in the Los Angeles Times by Robyn Dixon, it is the story of a teacher in Kenya (Harris) who fights for the right of an 84-year-old villager to be educated despite his age. Justin Chadwick, who directed the award-winning British TV mini-series Bleak House and the movie The Other Boleyn Girl, filmed The First Grader entirely on location and used lots of local talent. The experience was exhilarating for Harris. “There was an incredibly generous spirit among these people,” she says. “At the start I was thinking, Oh, I’m going to work with these really poor children, and I’m going to be so affected by the fact that they have so little, when we in the West have so much. Actually, what I was struck by was they have so much, and we have so little. They have a strong sense of family, a strong sense of community—a real sense of belonging. I was incredibly touched by that.”

Photos: Naomie at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party 2013

Naomie Harris - 2013 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Sunset Tower - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 25th February 2013

The First Grader TV premiers tonight on BBC2 at 22.30

The First Grader - The Movie

Drama about an 84-year-old ex Mau Mau freedom fighter who wants to take up the offer of the new Kenyan government to guarantee free education for all so that he can learn to read. However, when he presents himself for the first day of term at a local school he encounters resistance from... 
  • BBC HD

Short Synopsis

Directed by Justin Chadwick

In a small, remote mountain top primary school in the Kenyan bush, hundreds of children are jostling for a chance for the free education newly promised by the Kenyan government. One new applicant causes astonishment when he knocks on the door of the school.  He is Maruge (Oliver Litondo), an old Mau Mau veteran in his eighties, who is desperate to learn to read at this late stage of his life.  He fought for the liberation of his country and now feels he must have the chance of an education so long denied - even if it means sitting in a classroom alongside six-year-olds.
Moved by his passionate plea, head teacher Jane Obinchu (Naomie Harris), supports his struggle to gain admission and together they face fierce opposition from parents and officials who don’t want to waste a precious school place on such an old man.
Full of vitality and humour, the film explores the remarkable relationships Maruge builds with his classmates some eighty years his junior. Through Maruge’s journey, we are taken back to the shocking untold story of British colonial rule 50 years earlier where Maruge fought for the freedom of his country, eventually ending up in the extreme and harsh conditions of the British detention camps.
Directed by Justin Chadwick (THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL/BLEAK HOUSE) from a script by Emmy-winner Ann Peacock (THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, NIGHTS IN RODANTHE, KIT KITTRIDGE), THE FIRST GRADER is a heart warming and inspiring true story of one man’s fight for what he believes is his right in order to overcome the burdens of his past. It is a triumphant testimony to the transforming force of education.
The filming process itself was quite extraordinary, as the children in the film – who are in many ways the stars – had never even seen a film or television set before let alone been involved in the filming process. Their involvement in the shoot was a totally novel experience for them and their enthusiasm and energy is captured beautifully on screen.

Naomie Harris (Jane)

As well as working on big budget Hollywood Movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,Naomie Harris (Jane) continues to choose challenging and exciting roles in smaller and more diverse films such as THE FIRST GRADER. London-born Naomie graduated with honours from Cambridge University in 1998 with a degree in social and political science. She went on to train at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and had her first major acting breakthrough in 2002 with Danny Boyle’s zombie horror film 28 Days Later. She went on to receive further international recognition and critical acclaim in her role as Tia Dalma in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End. Other major feature film credits includeMichael Mann’s Miami Vice, Michael Winterbottom’s A Cock and Bull Story, and Street Kings with Keanu Reeves and Forrest Whittaker.
Most recent feature film projects include: Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll with Andy Serkis; Ninja Assassin directed by James McTeigueJulian Kemp’s My Last Five Girlfriends: and, THE FIRST GRADER, written by Ann Peacock and directed by Justin Chadwick.
Major television drama credits have included: Julian Jarrold’s White Teeth, based on Zadie Smith’s best-selling novel; Peter Kosminsky’s The Project; Poppy Shakespeare:  and, more recently Blood and Oil and Small Island for the BBC.
Accolades include :
2003 - Winner Best Actress at the Monte Carlo Television Festival
2007 - Winner Rising Star Tribute Award at the Bahamas International Film Festival
2007 - Nomination BAFTA Orange Rising Star
2007 & 2009 - Winner Best actress at the Screen Nation Awards
2010 - Winner Best Actress at The Royal Television Society Awards

© The First Grader 2012. All rights reserved. An iKind Media Website

  • NAACP Image Awards The First Grader , received five nominations for the 43rd NAACP Image Awards it was announced in the United States last week. The NAACP Image Awards are presented by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to honor outstanding people of color in film, television, music, and literature . The First Grader received nominations in the following categories: Outstanding Motion Picture , Outstanding Actor ( Oliver Litondo ) , Best Independent Motion Picture , Writing in a…
    • Oliver Litondo - Best Actor Black Film Critics Circle Oliver Litondo who plays the tenacious, 83-year-old Maruge in the award-winning movie, The First Grader , which is co-produced by Videovision Entertainment , won the Best Actor Award from the Black Film Critics Circle it was announced last night. Founded in 2010, the Black Film Critics Circle is comprised of film critics of colour who write for daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines, radio, television and qualifying on-line publications in the…
      • The Gotham Independent Film Awards The award-winning film, The First Grader, co-produced by Videovision Entertainment has been nominated for the prestigious Gotham Independent Film Awards coveted Genius Audience Award it was announced in New York last night. The Gotham Independent Film Awards , are held under the auspices of the Independent Filmmaker Project and are selected by distinguished juries and presented in New York, which is acknowledged as the home of independent film. These Awards are the first…
        • SKYFALL - 23rd film in the James Bond Franchise The star of the Videovision Entertainment’s The First Grader , Naomie Harris , who plays the lead role of Jane Obinchu in the multi award-winning film , has been cast in the new James Bond film, Skyfall , the 23rd film in the James Bond franchise. Harris will play one of the most famous and memorable roles of the Bond franchise, that of Miss Moneypenny . Harris, who gives a powerful performance in The First Grader, won the Best Actress Award at the Kenyan…
          • Kenya International Film Festival The First Grader scooped the main prizes at the Kenyan International Film Festival, winning the Best Actor ( Oliver Litondo ) , Best Actress ( Naomie Harris ) and Best Film Awards it was announced at the closing ceremony of the Festival in Nairobi last night. The film, co-produced by Durban based, Videovision Entertainment , BBC Films , UK Film Council and Origin Pictures is directed by Justin Chadwick and stars Oliver Litondo and Naomie Harris as well as South African…
            • 38th Ghent International Film Festival Music Composer, Alex Heffes , won the Discovery of the Year prize for his work on The First Grader at the 2011 World Soundtrack Awards which were announced at the closing event of the 38th Ghent International Film Festival on Saturday, 22 October 2011. The Awards is an initiative of the World Soundtrack Academy which was launched in 2001 by the Ghent Film Festival, is aimed at organizing and overseeing the educational, cultural and professional aspects of the art of…
              • Johannesburg, South Africa The First Grader, co-produced by Durban based, Videovision Entertainment , the BBC , UK Film Council and Origin Pictures had its South African premiere in Johannesburg with the director, Justin Chadwick and local actors Vusi Kunene , Tony Kgoroge , Israel Kakoe and Shoki Mokgapa with Executive Producers, Anant Singh and Helena Spring in attendance. The Guest of Honour at the event was Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Enver Surty while other VIP guests included Deputy Minister…
                • Durban International Film Festival The First Grader, co-produced by Durban-based, Videovision Entertainment , won the coveted Audience Award at the 32nd Durban International Film Festival it was announced at the Festival’s awards ceremony. The film had its South African premiere on Sunday (24 July) at the Festival with actors Oliver Litondo and Tony Kgoroge, Executive Producer Anant Singh and Guest Of Honour, Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Paul Mashatile in attendance. The Audience Award at the Durban…
                  • Durban International Film Festival 2011 South Africa  The First Grader, based on a true story, is set in a remote primary school in the Kenyan bush where hundreds of children are jostling for a chance for the free education promised by the new Kenyan government. One new applicant causes astonishment when he knocks on the door of the school. He is Maruge, an old Mau Mau veteran in his eighties, who is desperate to learn to read at this late stage of his life. He fought for the liberation of his…
                    • National Geographic Entertainment The First Grader will be released in the United States on May 13, 2011 by National Geographic Entertainment . The film will be launched in New York and Los Angeles and then expanded to other US cities in the forthcoming weeks. The First Grader, based on a true story, is set in a remote primary school in the Kenyan bush where hundreds of children are jostling for a chance for the free education promised by the new Kenyan government. One new applicant causes astonishment…
                      • Videovision Entertainment’s ‘First Grader’ Tops The Class at the Palm Beach Film Festival The Videovision Entertainment co-production, The First Grader, won the Best Feature Film Award of the Palm Beach International Film Festival last night. The film, shot in Kenya, is directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) stars Naomie Harris and Oliver Litondo , Vusi Kunene , Tony Kgoroge and David Chege , written by Emmy winner Ann Peacock , produced by David M. Thompson , Sam Feuer and Richard…
                        • Doha Tribeca Film Festival The First Grader which was the Closing Night film at the Second Doha Tribeca Film Festival last night where it captivated audiences, garnering the Audience Prize for Best Narrative Film. The Award was presented to director, Justin Chadwick and the team by actor, Robert De Niro . Also in attendance were the leads, Kenyan star, Oliver Litondo and Naomie Harris ; Producer, David M. Thompson and Executive Producer, Anant Singh . The First Grader has consistently been a hit with…
                          • The First Grader Philip Concannon - Phil on Film This is conventional, tick-the-boxes filmmaking and you can predict its narrative arc from frame one, but The First Grader is a solid crowd-pleaser nonetheless. It’s based on the true story of Kimani N’gan’ga Maruge ( Oliver Litondo ) , an 84 year-old who turned up at a local school one day when the new Kenyan government announced free education for all. Undeterred by the teachers’ insistence that the offer is aimed only at children, Maruge…
                            • Topi-Talk The spirit of Maruge, the 84 year old first grader, was brought to London on a chilly autumn evening, when  star actor Oliver Litondo and lead actress Naomie Harris stepped on to the red carpet at the Odeon in Leicester Square. Away from the glamour however there were some fundamental issues raised by the stars. The First Grader may well be a landmark in Kenya’s Film Industry, but the lack of creativity and understanding of the power of film by those in position, has put paid to a great…
                              • London Film Festival 2010 Press Association - Mirror Video - The First Grader was inspired by the true story about a Kenyan man who goes back to primary school at the age of 84 to get the education he always wanted. Click here to watch the London Film Festival premier on YouTube…

                                • justin chadwick
                                  naomie harris
                                  oliver litondo
                                  vusi kunene
                                  • Durban International Film Festival (Audience Award – Feature Film)
                                  • Emden International Film Festival (The DGB Trade Union Audience Choice Award and The Bernhard Wicki Best Film Award)
                                  • Doha Tribeca Film Festival (Audience Prize for Best Film)
                                  • Toronto Film Festival (Audience Prize runner-up)
                                  • Sedona Film Festival (Best Director’s Choice, Audience Choice Award) 
                                  • The Pan African Film Festival (Audience Choice Award)
                                  • Palm Beach Film Festival (Best Feature Film Award)
                                  • Nashville International Film Festival (Audience Choice Award)
                                  • 360/365 Film Festival - Rochester (Audience Prize for Best Film)

                                  The First Grader - The Movie

                                  Thursday, 28 February 2013

                                  Eco-Fashion Campaign Red Carpet Green Dress Unveiled On The Oscar Red Carpet By Naomie Harris

                                  Eco-Fashion Campaign Red Carpet Green Dress Unveiled On The Oscar Red Carpet By Naomie Harris
                                  The Winning Design from Suzy Amis Cameron’s Eco-Fashion Campaign Red Carpet Green Dress Unveiled On The Oscar Red Carpet By Naomie Harris

                                  The Winning Design from Suzy Amis Cameron’s Eco-Fashion Campaign Red Carpet Green Dress Unveiled On The Oscar Red Carpet By Naomie Harris
                                  Photo Credit: Matthew Hinchcliffe
                                  Los Angeles, CA, February 24, 2013 – Bond Girl Naomie Harris has hit the red carpet at the 85th Annual Academy Awards® in the winning design from Red Carpet Green Dress winner, Michael Badger. “I couldn’t be more thrilled with the incredibly glamourous design we’re presenting to the world today,” exclaims Suzy Amis Cameron, Campaign Founder. “I believe it will make a very powerful statement on behalf of sustainable fashion, and my hope is that it will provoke some thought about more sustainable fashion in our everyday lives.”
                                  Legendary designer Dame Vivienne Westwood mentored winning designer, Michael Badger, through the creation of his design in her London-based studio. After Westwood’s couturiers logged 120 hours on the gown, it was then transported to the Royal School of Needlework where a team of 22, and the winner himself, using an organic cotton thread logged 680 hours of cherished hand embroidery, a major reduction of carbon footprint that showcases the importance of hand embroidery, over machine embroidery, as a sustainable art form. The gown is made of a Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified organic silk crepe de chine. It was embroidered with old vintage glass beads from the 20s through the 60s and chocolate candy wrappers. Standard reclaimed zippers were sourced. The dying process employed golden rod and a renewable biodegradable natural plant source, a humble camomile, which is also used medicinally and for camomile tea. Since there were no water pollutants or chemicals used, any waste produced was transferred to a compost heap.
                                  The dying process, completed by Ao Textiles, has received a stamp of approval from Greenpeace International’s Detox Fashion Campaign, and they have also fully endorsed the completed design as a whole. “The gown created for this year’s Red Carpet Green Dress contest proves that even the most intricate design, subject to the highest levels of scrutiny, can be as sustainable as it is beautiful,” says Tommy Crawford, Creative Director for Greenpeace International’s Global Detox Campaign.
                                  The dress is currently being assessed for certification from the Cradle To Cradle Products Innovation Institute, a non-profit organization that helps designers and manufacturers create products that are safe for people and the environment through its globally recognized Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Products Program. Certified products are rated across five quality categories: material health, material reutilization, energy use, water stewardship, and social fairness.
                                  This year, Red Carpet Green Dress has raised $120,000 for MUSE School CA, the single beneficiary of the campaign. MUSE School CA is a non-profit, educational organization in Malibu Canyon, California, dedicated to empowering children to realize their full potential
                                  through academic excellence, personal responsibility, compassionate relations, global consciousness and environmental awareness. MUSE School CA was founded by Amis Cameron and her sister, Rebecca Amis.
                                  Badger, born in Ghana and is presently working toward a B.F.A. in Fashion Design at the Savannah College of Art & Design in Atlanta, insured his design would be 100% biodegradable from its inception by using an old recycled sketchbook as a process journal and by illustrating his spirited design on 100% hemp watercolor paper. He drew inspiration from one of nature’s most powerful forces, a volcano. By focusing on the appearance of lava as it flows, Badger’s design celebrates our world’s natural splendor and serves to remind each of us of our role as its caretaker.
                                  Samata Angel, Global Campaign Director, adds, “We are so grateful for everyone who made this year’s campaign a smashing success including the Royal School of Needlwork and Naomie Harris. Michael Badger is an incredibly talented designer and was such a pleasure; Vivienne Westwood and her couturiers were amazing mentors to Michael and we can’t thank them enough.”

                                  # # # # #
                                  About Vivienne Westwood:
                                  Vivienne Westwood began designing in 1971, and by the end of the 1970s, she was already considered a symbol of the British avant-garde. For Autumn/Winter 1981, Westwood showed her first catwalk presentation in London. In 1986, a radical change of direction moved Westwood away from street style and youth culture as she adopted more traditional Savile Row tailoring techniques. Since then, Westwood has received numerous accolades, continues to show in Paris, Milan and London, and is one of the most influential fashion designers in the world today. She uses the medium of her shows to talk about culture and politics, more specifically about the urgent need to act against climate change.
                                  About Naomie Harris:
                                  Naomie Harris rocketed to international stardom opposite Daniel Craig with the November release of Skyfall, the most recent James Bond installment. The London-born actress is certainly no stranger to blockbusters as she has occupied starring roles in Michael Mann’s Miami Vice, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Since her first major breakthrough performance in 2002 with Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, she has appeared on the stage in Boyle’s London production of Frankenstein opposite Johnny Lee Miller and has received numerous awards, nominations and critical acclaim. Next up for Harris is the Nelson Mandela biopic Long Walk To Freedom in which she stars as Mandela’s controversial second wife, Winnie.
                                  Media Contact:
                                  Jason Trotter
                                  Trotter Public Relations
                                  323.819.5353 |
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                                  Video: Digital Spy takes the 'Skyfall' train with Miss Moneypenny Naomie Harris

                                  Digital Spy takes the 'Skyfall' train with Miss Moneypenny Naomie Har


                                  Published on 25 Feb 2013
                                  Digital Spy was on the new Skyfall train's maiden voyage and had a chat with Miss Moneypenny, aka Naomie Harris, on the way to Edinburgh.

                                  Images © Columbia Pictures / Everett Collection / Rex Features

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                                  Wednesday, 27 February 2013

                                  Video: Ross King on Daybreak interviewing outside Vanity Fair Oscar party

                                  A night to shine!

                                  Published: Mon, 18 Feb, 2013

                                  Naomie interview at 08.25 to 09.50
                                  It was a truly splendid evening with Life of Pi quickly coming to lead the field, scooping four Oscars including the crucial director prize for the great Ang Lee.

                                  The night's other big winner was Ben Affleck's Argo. It bagged the all-important best film Oscar, crowning a very memorable night for its producers Affleck, Clooney and Heslov!
                                  Daniel Day-Lewis also made Oscar history after becoming the first man to win the best actor trophy three times and our very own Adele also stole the show, winning Best Original Song.

                                  Tuesday, 26 February 2013

                                  Photos: Naomie with Honor Award at Essence Black women in Hollywood Awards

                                  Honored Guests

                                  Honorees Mara Brock-Akil, Naomie Harris, Alfre Woodard and Gabrielle Union at the sixth annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywod Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel

                                  British actress Naomie Harris, recipient of the Lincoln Shining Star award, poses at the 6th Annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) Photo: AP
                                  British actress Naomie Harris, recipient of the Lincoln Shining Star award, poses at the 6th Annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) Photo: AP

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                                  Naomie Harris In Monique Lhuillier – 2013 Vanity Fair Party

                                  Red Carpet Fashion Awards

                                  Naomie Harris In Monique Lhuillier – 2013 Vanity Fair Party

                                  Naomie Harris In Monique Lhuillier  - 2013 Vanity Fair Party
                                  Going for a heavenly, ethereal look, Naomie Harris was one of my favourites on the red carpet at the 2013 Vanity Fair Party on Sunday evening.
                                  The British actress looked beautiful wearing a Monique Lhuillier Spring 2013 gown.
                                  Her delicate seafoam lace gown with a draped tulle overlay was styled with Stuart Weitzman ‘Gloso’ pumps and an Edie Parker ‘Lara’ clutch.
                                  It’s amazing how a draped shoulder can add a lot of sexy appeal to a look.
                                  Credit: & Getty

                                  Photos: Naomie's personal photos from Essence Awards

                                  Video: Naomie being screamed at by photographers on the Oscars red carpet !

                                  Naomie Harris at Oscars 2013 Red Carpet Fashion Arrivals

                                  Published on 25 Feb 2013
                                  OSCARS 2013 ARRIVALS Videos

                                  Naomie Harris at the 2013 Academy Awards Red Carpet Arrivals at The Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, Ca USA February 24, 2013 - The Oscars 2013 Fashion Arrivals

                                  Bond girl Naomie risks Oscars wardrobe malfunction in golden slit dress - The Sun

                                  The Sun - Oscars 2013

                                  BOND babe Naomie Harris almost suffered a revealing Oscars wardrobe malfunction in this dress slit from ankle to hip.

                                  The Skyfall beauty, 36, twisted to pose for photographers on the Hollywood red carpet and exposed her lovely long legs.
                                  But it looked as though the British actress was about to reveal a lot more as the open number threatened to embarrass her.

                                  Naomie Harris's slit in her golden dress
                                  Cut above ... dress was open from hip to ankle

                                  The screen siren played Miss Moneypenny alongside Daniel Craig in the movie that was nominated for five awards.
                                  The dress itself was always going to make headlines after it was announced it had been made from recycled materials.

                                  Naomie Harris
                                  Nominated ... Skyfall was up for five gongs

                                  Ghana-born fashion student Michael Badger won a competition to create the outfit and was mentored by Vivienne Westwood.

                                  The golden outfit was made from organic silk crepe de chine with recycled zippers.

                                  The bodice featured vintage glass beads and old chocolate wrappers and the design was said to be inspired by volcanos and lava.

                                  Naomie Harris shows off her legs at the Oscars
                                  Recycled ... old chocolate wrappers were used by student to make dress

                                  Read more:

                                  Video: Naomie Harris Talks About Being Part of the Bond Franchise at the Oscars

                                  Skyfall's Naomie Harris Talks About Being Part of the Bond Franchise

                                  Published on 24 Feb 2013
                                  Skyfall actress Naomie Harris stopped to chat on her way inside the Oscars today. She told us about her sustainable, volcano-inspired gown before heading into Hollywood & Highland to listen to Adele sing "Skyfall" and to see the special Oscars tribute to Bond.

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