Michael Apted’s "56 Up," the latest entry in his acclaimed series, will screen at the Wisconsin Film Festival with the participation of UW-Madison engineering professor Nick Hitchon (above), one of the film’s subjects.
The Wisconsin Film Festival — the largest campus-based film festival in the United States, averaging over 100 films and up to 34,000 attendees each spring — will spread out beyond one weekend for the first time this year, giving audiences eight days to take in the wide range of cinema being offered.
Tickets for the festival will go on sale on Saturday, March 16. The festival opens on Thursday, April 11 and plays through Thursday, April 18.
This year's festival takes place in several newer locations, all offering state-of-the-art projection systems and multiple screenings of some of the event's most popular films. Jim Healy, director of programming, and Mike King, senior programmer, preside over eight days of comedies, documentaries, animation, classics from around the world, and the popular Wisconsin's Own films, from filmmakers with ties to the state.
"We're incredibly fortunate to benefit from the talents and deep investment of our collaborators, supporters and our audience. Every year, we're excited for another opportunity to do it all again, and this milestone year is no exception," says Christina Martin-Wright, managing director of the festival.
In celebration, the festival will kick off its 2013 events with a benefit on Friday, March 15 from 6-9 p.m. The Crystal Ball will take place at Hilldale Shopping Center, home of Sundance Cinemas, which will host several high-profile screenings and events during the festival's run.
Attendees will enjoy food and beverages from the Great Dane, a silent auction, door prizes and a sneak preview of this year's films. The event is hosted by 2010 Golden Badger winner Steve Tyska of Madison disco group VO5. Entertainment also includes pianist Dan Barker playing film favorites. Advance tickets are $25, with a limited number of tickets available at the door for $30. The event is presented by Isthmus and Hilldale Shopping Center.
“Every year, we’re excited for another opportunity to do it all again, and this milestone year is no exception.”
This year's lineup includes brand new movies from internationally renowned directors ("You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet," "Post Tenebras Lux"), as well as world-class selections from filmmakers based right here in Wisconsin or with ties to the Badger State ("Street Pulse," "Dear Mr. Watterson"). Michael Apted's "56 Up," the latest entry in his acclaimed series, will also screen with the participation of UW-Madison engineering professor Nick Hitchon, one of the film's subjects.
Without leaving the Dairy State, festivalgoers can travel to the far corners of the globe, from the Arctic Circle ("The Final Member"), to Senegal ("The Pirogue"), to a rare glimpse into contemporary North Korea ("Comrade Kim Goes Flying"), and beyond ("Lunarcy!").
The festival's popular repertory offerings include four spaghetti Westerns (including the recently restored Italian version of "The Big Gundown"), presented in conjunction with the UW Cinematheque's ongoing series. Audiences will also see a rarely-screened effort by Wisconsin's Own Joseph Losey ("M"), and three films from the 1970s featuring actor Michael Murphy, who will join audiences in person to discuss his work made in collaboration with iconic filmmakers: Woody Allen's "Manhattan," Robert Altman's "Brewster McCloud," and Saul Bass's "Phase IV."
More than ever, new films are in dialogue with the history of cinema. Two examples include opening night selection "Blancanieves," a reimagining of Snow White done in the style of a silent film, as well as "Room 237," an investigation into the mysteries of "The Shining."
This year's festival is bookended with Shakespeare adaptations from the opposite ends of film history. The first film to unspool will be the 1929 "The Taming of the Shrew," with Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford; the festival ends a week later with "Avengers" director Joss Whedon's up-to-the-minute riff on "Much Ado About Nothing."
The Wisconsin Film Festival celebrates new American independent films, world cinema, documentaries, locally made films, experimental and avant-garde work, and newly restored classics at state-of-the-art venues offering superb high-definition video and 35mm projection. It is presented by UW–Madison’s Arts Institute in association with the Communication Arts Film Studies Program.
55-Year-Old Manager Fired Days After He Complained About Age Discrimination; Awarded $675,000 Judgment
DENVER - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) won another victory in federal court in Denver on Feb. 27 in its employment discrimination lawsuit against major communications equipment retailer RadioShack. Judge Lewis Babcock entered a judgment for a variety of relief, including back pay in accordance with a September jury verdict, liquidated damages, front pay, and an additional award to offset the increased taxes that will be incurred as a result of receiving the entire award in a lump sum of approximately $675,000.
According to the EEOC's suit, in the fall of 2007, David Nelson, then 55, had been employed for more than 25 years when RadioShack assigned a new, 43-year-old regional manager to supervise him. Within four months of the new supervisor's arrival at the regional office in Denver, Nelson, who had a spotless performance record, was placed on two "performance improvement plans." Nelson believed that he was being discriminated against by his new supervisor because of his age and he complained to the human resources department about the discrimination. Within five days of the first complaint, and before the period for assessing the improvement in his performance had expired, RadioShack fired Nelson in retaliation for his discrimination complaint.
The lawsuit, EEOC v. RadioShack, Civil Action #10-cv-02365, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, charged age discrimination and retaliation under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. In September, 2012, a Denver jury awarded Nelson $187,706 in back pay on the retaliation claim and found that this conduct by RadioShack was willful. On February 27, 2013, Federal Court Judge Lewis T. Babcock held an evidentiary hearing on the EEOC's motion seeking front pay in lieu of reinstatement, as well as an award to offset the increased tax burden that Nelson will face as a result of receiving the entire judgment in a lump sum. Judge Babcock ruled that Nelson was entitled to liquidated damages of $187,706, front pay damages of $199,470, and an additional $101,657 to offset the increased tax burden. In total, the judgment is for $674,938.
"The Commission is dedicated to the enforcement of all the anti-discrimination laws and, if necessary, will try the cases," said EEOC General Counsel Patrick Lopez. "This is the latest in a series of Commission trial victories nationwide."
Rita Kittle, supervisory trial attorney for the EEOC's Denver Field Office, who tried the case for the EEOC, said, "It is particularly important for the EEOC to vigorously enforce the anti-retaliation provisions in the employment discrimination laws. If employees do not feel comfortable coming forward when they feel they are being discriminated against, the very purpose of the anti-discrimination statutes is eviscerated."
EEOC Senior Trial Attorney William (Bill) Moench, who tried the case with Kittle, added, "We are heartened that the jury saw RadioShack's retaliatory behavior for what it was, and that Judge Babcock was willing to award damages over and above the back pay loss so that Mr. Nelson can be made whole, and be able to look forward to some semblance of the retirement plans he had before he was fired."
According to company information, Fort Worth-based RadioShack employs 32,000 people globally. RadioShack's retail network includes approximately 4,700 company-operated stores in the United States and Mexico, 1,500 wireless phone centers in the United States, and approximately 1,100 dealers and other outlets worldwide.
In fiscal year 2012, the EEOC received 37,836 charges alleging retaliation. This constituted 38.1% of the total number of charges, the highest percentage for retaliation charges in history, and the largest number of any basis for a discrimination charge.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov
Federal Agency Says Day Care Center Refused to Allow Pregnant Teacher to Work
CHICAGO - Adventures in Learning Aurora, Inc., an Aurora, Ill.-based childcare center with approximately 100 employees across four locations in Illinois, will pay $31,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination case brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The EEOC had alleged that Adventures in Learning discriminated against a pregnant employee at one of its locations and forced her to quit when it refused to allow her to work after her fourth month of pregnancy. Adventures in Learning opted to settle the case shortly after it was filed.
U.S. District Court Judge George M. Marovich of the Northern District of Illinois entered a consent decree resolving the lawsuit on Feb. 22. The decree provides $31,000 in monetary relief to the victim and requires Adventures in Learning to report to the EEOC for the next two years on all employee complaints of pregnancy discrimination. The company must also train all its employees on the prevention and eradication of pregnancy discrimination, and also adopt a new policy prohibiting pregnancy discrimination.
"Pregnancy discrimination has been illegal for a long time, so we are never happy to see it," said the EEOC district director in Chicago, John Rowe, who managed the EEOC's administrative investigation of the charge of discrimination underlying the lawsuit. "On the other hand, it's encouraging to see an employer charged with such discrimination put an end to it and work with the EEOC to achieve a just result which works for all."
John Hendrickson, the EEOC's regional attorney in Chicago, said, "Really early resolution of this case -- before any depositions were taken -- created a win-win situation for everyone. This employer avoided investing in litigation expenses which would not have yielded a different result and was able refocus on its business in a hurry. The EEOC secured the necessary law enforcement objectives with minimal expense to the taxpayers - there's nothing not to like about that these days. The charging party received early and certain relief in an appropriate amount. And, finally, the long-term public interest was served by the decree's mandating targeted equitable relief, including a specific injunction against the company and its officers engaging in pregnancy discrimination, along with well-defined training, reporting and policy changes in the workplace."
The EEOC's lawsuit was brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which prohibits sex discrimination (including pregnancy) in employment. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through its statutory conciliation process. The case, EEOC v. Adventures in Learning of Aurora, Inc., Civil Action No. 12 cv -7489, was filed on Sept. 18, 2012 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. EEOC Trial Attorneys June Calhoun and Jeanne Szromba and Supervisory Trial Attorney Diane Smason litigated the case on behalf of the government.
EEOC's Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.
Feb. 27, 2013
World-renowned primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, will be the keynote speaker at the seventh annual Nelson Institute Earth Day Conference on Monday, April 15, in Madison.
Photo: Stuart Clarke
Goodall is known for her landmark study of chimpanzee behavior in what is today Gombe National Park in Tanzania. Her work there became the foundation of future primatological research and redefined the relationship between humans and animals. Her institute continues the Gombe research and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats.
Goodall's keynote lecture will cap the Earth Day conference, "Conservation Everywhere: Sustaining Natural and Cultural Diversity," which will explore a range of conservation issues. The all-day event will include remarks by marine conservation advocate and filmmaker Céline Cousteau; Ken Bonning, senior executive vice president of Kohl's Corporation; and Nelson Institute Director Paul Robbins, an expert on human interactions with nature and the politics of natural resource management.
In addition, nine concurrent panel sessions will focus on topics such as primate behavior and conservation, climate change, nature in film and television, cultural conservation, ecosystem services and other topics. The program also includes exhibits, awards and other activities.
The Nelson Institute Earth Day conference will take place at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in downtown Madison and is open to the public, though registration is required. Space is limited, so early registration is strongly recommended. More information and registration are available here.
Company Refused to Hire Black Applicants, Federal Agency Charged
MIAMI - A Miami transportation company violated federal law by subjecting African-Americans to race discrimination, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC's suit, Prestige Transportation Service, LLC, a successor corporation to Airbus Alliance, Inc., refused to hire black applicants for employment, discriminated against a black employee, and retaliated against three employees for opposing race discrimination and/or filing a discrimination charge with the EEOC. Prestige primarily transports crew members of airlines between airports and their hotels.
The EEOC said Prestige's management regularly told its human resources manager that it would be a "waste of paper" to give black persons employment applications, advised her not to give applications to African-Americans, and stated that "black people were trouble and would sue the company." In addition, Prestige singled out its one, non-Hispanic black employee by forcing her to leave early on a regular basis, while allowing Hispanic employees to work their full shifts.
The lawsuit also claims that Prestige unlawfully destroyed or failed to keep records and documents related to employment applications, personnel records, and documents regarding rates of pay and other terms of compensation. Further, Prestige punished employees who opposed the company's unlawful practices, and fired three employees in retaliation for voicing their objections.
This alleged behavior violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race and national origin, prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who complain about employment discrimination and requires them to keep certain employment records.
The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Prestige Transportation Service, LLC., Case No 1:13-cv-20684-JEM) in the Southern District of Florida only after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through conciliation. The agency is seeking class relief for the African-American applicants, back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for the discrimination victims, as well as appropriate injunctive relief to prevent any further discriminatory practices.
"The unfortunate reality is that in the 21st century, black applicants continue to face unlawful discrimination when seeking employment," said Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney for the EEOC's Miami District Office. "The EEOC will take action when a business violates Title VII by intentionally excluding applicants because of the individual's race or national origin."
Malcolm Medley, director of the EEOC's Miami District Office, added, "Our investigation revealed that Prestige compounded its harm by retaliating against those who stood up to the discrimination and by destroying documents. The EEOC takes allegations of retaliation and document destruction very seriously and will pursue them with the same intensity as the allegations of hiring discrimination."
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. The Miami District Office's jurisdiction includes Florida, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.