Tribeca Film Festival has withdrawn Vaxxed, a controversial film about the MMR vaccine, festival founder Robert De Niro announces.
On March 25, Robert De Niro stood by his decision to include Vaxxed by anti-vaccination activist Andrew Wakefield in next month’s festival.
The link Vaxxed makes between the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and autism has been widely discredited.
“We have concerns with certain things in this film,” said Robert De Niro.
Robert De Niro, who has a child with autism, said he had hoped the documentary would provide the opportunity for discussion of the issue.
However, after reviewing the documentary with festival organizers and scientists, the actor said: “We do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for.”
Vaxxed was directed and co-written by Andrew Wakefield, who described it as a “whistle-blower documentary”.
In a statement issued following the Tribeca Film Festival’s decision, Andrew Wakefield and the film’s producer Del Bigtree said that “we have just witnessed yet another example of the power of corporate interests censoring free speech, art and truth”.
The British doctor was the lead author of a controversial study published in 1998, which argued there might be a link between MMR and autism and bowel disease.
Andrew Wakefield suggested that parents should opt for single jabs against mumps, measles and rubella instead of the three-in-one vaccine.
His comments and the subsequent media furor led to a sharp drop in the number of children being vaccinated against these diseases.
The study, first published in The Lancet, was later retracted by the medical journal.
Andrew Wakefield was subsequently found guilty of fraud by the General Medical Council and struck off the medical register.
Designer Zac Posen has created an evening gown completely covered in 24-karat gold paillettes.
Zac Posen’s $1.5 million dress was made to look like melting ice cream and was created in honor of Magnum’snew Gold ice cream bar.
The 32-year-old designer said: “Creating my first-ever 24-karat gold dress was a truly priceless experience.
“I’m naturally drawn to luxury and love to push my creativity, so the design process of creating a couture dress made of gold was thrilling.”
Zac Posen’s $1.5 million dress was made to look like melting ice cream and was created in honor of Magnum’s new Gold ice cream bar
Zac Posen added: “I pulled inspiration from Magnum Gold?! for the dress design… the train reminds me of melting ice cream. The dress is so decadent.”
The gold dress will make its debut on April 18th in a short film for Magnum Gold?! starring Joe Manganiello.
Premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, the movie is called As Good As Gold.
This isn’t the first time Magnum has collaborated with the fashion industry, however.
Karl Lagerfeld and Rachel Bilson joined forces in 2011 for a three-part short film series, which featured Chanel model Baptiste Giabiconi directing Rachel Bilson, who demanded a Magnum to continue, at a fashion shoot.
Magnum Gold?! ice cream bar is made of vanilla bean with swirls of sea salt caramel and a “golden” milk chocolate coating.
Robert De Niro started an argument with Jay-Z at Leonardo DiCaprio’s birthday party in New York after the rapper failed to return not just one, but six of his phone calls.
Robert De Niro, 69, was sitting at a table at the upscale bash when Jay-Z came over to say hello, but the Raging Bull star was in no mood to be friendly.
A New York Post insider then overheard Robert De Niro complaining the rapper, who lives near the Oscar winner in the posh TriBeCa area, agreed to record a song for the Tribeca Film Festival, but failed to follow through.
Robert De Niro rang Jay-Z on several occasions to plan the project, but his calls were never so much as returned.
The insider said: “Bob wasn’t in any mood to make polite conversation.
“He told Jay that if somebody calls you six times, you call them back.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, that is just rude.”
Robert De Niro started an argument with Jay-Z at Leonardo DiCaprio’s birthday party after the rapper failed to return his calls
Jay-Z tried make light of the situation by claiming he is terrible on the phone, but that failed to douse Robert De Niro’s anger, and he continued to humiliate his foe in front of the likes of Martin Scorsese, Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz.
Even the feminine charms of his curvy wife Beyonce were not enough to get him off his high horse.
The source said: “De Niro kept telling him that he thinks he’s the man, but that he was disrespectful.
“Beyoncé came over, but that didn’t calm Bob down.
“It was the talk of the party. Everyone was saying there’s only one star in New York bigger and badder than Jay-Z, and that’s Robert De Niro.
“He can be quite scary when he’s angry.”
The latter is certainly an understatement, given his fame for playing characters with explosive tempers in the likes of Goodfellas and Raging Bull.
However, a source close to Robert De Niro tried to play down the seriousness of the incident.
The insider said: “It was a low-key private conversation between two people that was apparently overheard. It was not a heated discussion.”
Cuban actors Javier Nunez Florian and Anailin de la Rua, who defected to the US, emerged from hiding a week after they had gone missing at Miami airport during a stop-over on the way to a film festival in New York.
Speaking on a Spanish-language TV channel in Miami, they said they would seek political asylum in the US.
Several Cuban artists have defected to pursue careers outside their country.
The two 20-year-old actors star in the film Una Noche (One Night), which depicts three Cuban teenagers trying to escape the poverty of their homeland to begin a new life in Miami. Una Noche tells the story of three young Cubans attempting to make their way from Havana to Miami by raft. It was filmed on location with the permission and cooperation of the Cuban government.
Javier Nunez Florian and Anailin de la Rua, who defected to the US, emerged from hiding a week after they had gone missing at Miami airport
Before their appearance on Miami-based Spanish-language channel America TeVe on Friday night, they had last been seen at Miami airport on a stop-over from Havana to New York.
They told film producer Sandy Perez Aguila, who was travelling with the pair, that they would meet him at the departure gate for the New York flight, but failed to turn up.
Sandy Perez Aguila told Miami police the two had gone missing, but police said he would have to wait for 24 hours before he could file a report.
He said that when he opened their suitcases when he arrived in New York, he found them empty.
The film won three awards at the Tribeca film festival, including the prize for best actor for Javier Nunez Florian, which he shared with another of the film’s actors.
Speaking on America TeVe, Javier Nunez Florian said he hoped he would be able to further pursue his acting career in the US.
In an interview with Reuters news agency, the pair said they had started thinking about defecting when they heard about the invitation to New York.
“In part, it’s hard to leave your family and friends behind,” Anailin de la Rua said.
“But at the same time you do it so you can help them, there’s no future in Cuba,” she said.
A Miami immigration lawyer representing the two actors told Reuters he planned to file for political asylum on the actors’ behalf “based on possible persecution if they return to Cuba”.
A string of Cuban artists and athletes has defected from Cuba over the past few years.
In 2005, Cuban ballet dancer Rolando Sarabia crossed the border into the US. In 2008 seven members of Cuba’s Olympic football team defected in Florida after a game with the US.
Last year, five members of the National Ballet of Cuba on tour in Canada decided to remain there after their performances.