Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales Wins the Platinum Oppenheim Award

The audiobook version of Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales – produced by Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA) in honor of Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday and whose tales are read by an array of celebrated, award-winning performers including  Benjamin Bratt – has been announced the Platinum winner of the 2009 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award for Audio.

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio: Listen Up! Our Platinum and Gold Audio Winners 2009

Alcatraz Takeover Recalled 40 Years Later

I think it is worth remembering that today is the 40th anniversary of the occupation of Alcatraz Island – which lasted till June 10, 1971 – by a small group of Native Americans students and urban Indians, reclaiming “Indian land” for the first time since the 1880s. They were eventually joined by thousands of Native Americans. One of them Benjamin Bratt, who as a child arrived with his siblings and mother.

In a statement, Benjamin and Peter Bratt said “Forty years later, Native people still recognize the occupation for what it was and remains: a seminal event in American history that brought the plight of American Indians to the world’s attention.”

Benjamin provided the voice-over narration for the documentary “Alcatraz Is Not an Island,” which showcased at the Sundance Film Festival 2001 and aired nationally in the USA on PBS in November 7, 2002.

To learn more, please see

CNN: Alcatraz takeover recalled 40 years later

PBS: “Alcatraz Is Not an Island”

Law & Order “FED” New Episode Information

Benjamin Bratt returns as “Rey Curtis” in the new L&O episode “FED,” airing on Friday, December 4, 2009,at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on NBC.

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A campaign volunteer is murdered in the midst of on an election and the detectives becomes trapped in a haze of danger and political scandals.

As election day rapidly approaches, Detectives Cyrus Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Kevin Bernard (Anthony Anderson) discover the disfigured remains of a man with the word “FED” written across his bare chest. Missing a crucial piece of evidence, the detectives decide to retrace the steps of the victim, a campaign volunteer, to hone in on the challenging investigation. After the victim’s perplexing past emerges and the list of suspects multiplies, the detectives find themselves dealing with more than just dirty politics. Benjamin Bratt, S. Epatha Merkerson, Sam Waterston, Alana De La Garza and Linus Roache also star.

“La Mission” Winning Artivist Award for Best Feature Film – Human Rights

Peter and Benjamin Bratt’s “La Mission” is the winner of an Artivist Award for Best Feature Film – Human Rights for the 6th Annual Artivist Film Festival. The Gala Ceremony takes place at the completion of the Artivist Film Festival on Saturday, December 5, 2009, at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.

I’d like to remind that “La Mission” is scheduled to screen at the Artivist Film Festival in Los Angeles on Tuesday, December 1, 2009, at 8 pm. Free tickets can be reserved via www.artivists.org.

Peter & Benjamin Bratt at the 34th Annual American Indian Film Festival San Francisco

Some photos of Peter & Benjamin Bratt from the screening of “La Mission” at the 34th Annual American Indian Film Festival San Francisco, CA, on Saturday, November 7, 2009, were posted on the Facebook page of the American Indian Film Institute.

American Indian Film Institute – Day 2 -American Indian Film Institute

(On a side note, Benjamin shaved off the goatee that he had been sporting for a couple of years.)

Air date for “The People Speak” on History Channel

The Howard Zinn documentary “The People Speak” will premiere on Sunday, December 13, 2009, at 8 pm, on the History Channel.

The People Speak TV Premiere On History

The film will include dramatic and musical performances of letters, diaries and speeches of everyday Americans who spoke up for social change 
throughout USA history.

The People Speak is inspired by Howard Zinn’s book, A People’s History of the United States and from the book he co-authored with Anthony Arnove, Voices of a People’s History. These are the voices of resistance in U.S. history – resistance to injustice, to war. Voices that are often excluded from traditional histories.

Artists and actors involved include Benjamin Bratt, Matt Damon, Marisa Tomei, Morgan Freeman, Josh Brolin, Kerry Washington, Danny Glover and Viggo Mortensen (for the full cast, see “The People Speak” Cast).

Details at

http://www.history.com/content/people-speak

The People Speak will be released on  DVD on January 26, 2010, and is available for pre-order from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” on DVD

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” – an animated film based on the children’s book of the same name, where Benjamin Bratt lent his voice to Manny –  will be released on Region-1 (USA and Canada) DVD and Blu-ray Disc on January 5, 2010.

Available on 1-Disc DVD, 2-Disc DVD ($34.95 SRP) and Blu-ray Disc ($39.95 SRP), special features will include:

1-Disc DVD

  • Anamorphic Widescreen
  • English, French and Spanish DD5.1
  • English, French and Spanish subtitles
  • Directors’ Commentary with Bill Hader
  • Make It Rain Food.

2-Disc DVD

As above plus a second disc with the following additional extras:

  • A Recipe for Success: The Making of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
  • Key Ingredients: The Voices of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
  • Flint’s Food Fight Game
  • Extended Scenes
  • Early Development Scenes
  • Progression Reels with Introductions by Visual Effects Supervisor Rob Bredow
  • Interactive “Raining Sunshine” Sing-A-Long
  • “Raining Sunshine” Music Video by iCarly’s Miranda Cosgrove
  • Behind the Scenes of Miranda Cosgrove’s “Raining Sunshine” Music Video-

Blu-ray Disc

A combo release which includes a DVD of the main feature alongside the Blu-ray Disc. Features include:

  • 1080P Widescreen
  • English, French and Spanish 5.1
  • English, French and Spanish subtitles
  • Directors’ Commentary with Bill Hader
  • Interactive “Splat” Button (Throw Food at the Screen While You Watch the Movie!)
  • A Recipe for Success: The Making of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
  • Key Ingredients: The Voices of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
  • Flint’s Food Fight Game – Enhanced for Blu-ray
  • Extended Scenes
  • Early Development Scenes
  • Progression Reels with Introductions by Visual Effects Supervisor Rob Bredow
  • Interactive “Raining Sunshine” Sing-A-Long
  • “Raining Sunshine” Music Video by iCarly’s Miranda Cosgrove
  • Behind the Scenes of Miranda Cosgrove’s “Raining Sunshine” Music Video
  • Make It Rain Food.

The release of the Region-2 (Europe) DVD, instead, is set for February 15, 2010.

At the time of this writing, it is possible to pre-order the Region-2 version from Amazon.co.uk and Play.com, while it is not possible yet to pre-order the Region-1 version.