A Tale of Love and Darkness - Exquisitely Melancholy Impressive Directorial Debut for Natalie Portman

Post Diner en Blanc 2016 Interview with Organizer Natanya DiBona

Monday, August 22, 2016

Philly Spotlight: 

Interview with one half of the Diner en Blanc organizing team Natanya DiBona

In 2014 I attended Diner en Blanc (click for post) as an attendee, brought in by my friend and fellow blogger Denine Gorniak, The Bicycle Chef, who has attended all 5 years, 4 of them as a table leader. Knowing I would be blogging about the experience, I wanted to make it a little more personal, so I decided I needed someone to design a dress especially for me to wear to #DEBPHL14. Needing to stay within budget, I contacted Drexel University to see if any of their recent grads would be interested and met Amber Cuff, who designed a gorgeous dress which I wore once again this year at #DEBPHL16. That first year I also bought new shoes, accessories, including a clear rain poncho in case of showers, bought the prerequisite size table and chairs, ordered my catered meal, a shopping cart to transport everything and took a day off from work, since that year I was commuting to & from Chesterbrook and traffic was always horrendous.   2014 Diner En Blanc was a great time, along the Ave of the Arts on South Broad Street, but I gotta tell ya, going this year as press, was much more to my liking!

Check out the 5th Annual Diner en Blanc T&T Photo Album 
(note: Album will not be visible to those receiving RSS Feed. Click HERE toview) 

5 Questions for Natayna 

1. T&T: I understand you wanted DEBphl to be at the Art Museum in 2012, but had to do the next best thing and use Logan Square. Why was the Art Museum space so hard to obtain?

Natanya DiBona: No, Logan Circle was always our number 1 choice for the first year..it's designed by a french architect, based on the Place de la Concorde in Paris (which also has served as the location of the Paris DEB), and sits at the beginning of the Parkway, the Champs-elysee of America! Logan Circle also has a 360 view of some of our city's most beloved arts and cultural treasurers, so we thought just one aerial picture of that first Diner en Blanc would say so much about Philadelphia. Not to mention, every one of our guests was guaranteed to have an amazing view. What you might be confusing this with is that I said we have had the art museum as the goal location for our year 5 event since 2012.

2. T&T: How involved are you with other Diner en Blancs around the country?

ND: We are very friendly with the organizers of a few of the other cities. It's nice to be able to call them and ask an opinion or get feedback on an issue we are facing that they may have previously experienced and vice versa.

3. T&T: How do you respond to people like Brian Hickey of the PhillyVoice who scoff at Diner en Blanc, calling it elitist and pretentious?

ND: I haven't read his piece, but every ticketed event whether it is a concert, sporting event or theater performance has a set amount of tickets it can offer. Our event is no different in that regard. Attendees from the event the year before can register for the following year, as well as sponsor a new person in Phase two. The last phase of registration, phase 3, is a lottery from our waiting list. We also offer volunteer opportunities that bring in new people. We also donate spots at the event to a variety of charitable organizations throughout the year that they auction off and we also give free spots away through contests. This year we had 5 contests to mark our 5th event. So there are a variety of ways we reach new people every year.

T&T Note:  To my mind, Diner en Blanc is far from being elitist. It's not the country club set out to shun others; it's a very mixed crowd, as you'll see from my photo album, and the tickets are not expensive.  I also don't like the implication that it has to be for charity or it's not a worthy event. There's nothing wrong with charitable events, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with just celebrating summer, lights, spectacle and the city of Philadelphia!

4. T&T: Will you continue to expand the number of guests or is 5000 the limit?

ND: The concept of the event is that it grows each year. The Paris event has been happening for 28 years- it's expanded to up to 12,000 people and is often held in two locations. So, we went into this knowing that we would grow and each year we decide that amount based on what we think we can responsibly execute. This year's event was planned by our 10 person planning team and executed by 155 group leaders, table hosts and on site volunteers. We have an incredible group and this event would absolutely not be possible without their dedication, hard work and passion for the event. So, we will get their feedback from this year and decide where to grow from here!

5.  T&T: Name a small part of each phase (planning, night of, day after), something the average person wouldn't think of, that you enjoy or is your favorite part of Diner en Blanc in Philadelphia.

ND: Planning - Getting to know our volunteers each year. Many have been volunteering since 2012 and they feel like family...there is an incredible community that is built through this event.

ND: Night of - Seeing your vision come to life. Kayli (Kayli Moran is the other half of the team behind DEBPHL) and I begin thinking of the next location almost immediately after the event and then design a presentation once we decide on our first choice. That presentation guides us for months as we plan and it is incredible when you see it unfold. Last night was particularly emotional for us as we looked out at the event from the steps.

ND: Day After -  Looking through Instagram to see all of the incredible things that happened at the event through the lens of our guests.

Diner en Blanc Philadelphia Official Website
DEBPHL Twitter | DinerenBlanc.Philadelphia Facebook |
dinerenblancphl Instagram

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Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine): Philly Film, Food & Events Blog


Groupon Coupons Philly Tour Z - A

Friday, August 19, 2016


By Le Anne Lindsay, Editor

Very excited about this great opportunity to partner with GROUPON COUPONS! I didn't even know they had in store and online coupons - I'm used to the traditional Groupon where they offer you a deal on something and then you have a limited amount of time to use the deal. This is different, with Groupon Coupons you don't need to spend any money upfront. Just stop by Groupon Coupons before doing your shopping and look for a coupon offer. You can browse by Store  by Category, or by Featured Coupon.

Groupon is reaching out to several bloggers for promotional partnerships. It's nice to be approached by a company that has a good standing and one in which I've frequently used. Still, I had to think of a way to tie it into Tinsel & Tine's mission of movies, foodie stuff and Philly.  And I think I got it!

I will feature 26 Groupon Coupons starting with the letter "Z" working my way up to "A" only I'll tie it into a Philadelphia Location or a blog musing.  It will also be promoted on my Facebook, Twitter, Google+  platforms along with a link on our #PhillyCalendar.

So here goes...

Posted 8/24/2016

Letter "R" Restaurant.com  I've gotten certificates from Restaurant.com before, it allows you to buy a lunch or dinner good for $25, but you only pay anywhere from $4 - $10 for the certificate. However, it's not good for people like me who often dine out alone. That sounds pathetic. I've got friends, fellow bloggers, family, getting some traction on OKC so maybe a date, to eat with, but I really enjoy dining out alone, I find it relaxing.  More often than not with Restaurant.com you have to spend a minimum of $50 to use the $25 certificates (show on your phone). So technically it's more of a BOGO deal.

Restaurant.com: $1.50 For $10 Certificates Eat out at some of your favorite restaurants and save! Visit this link now and pay $1.50 to receive a $10 restaurant gift certificate. Click now for full details!

Posted 8/21/2016

Letter "S" Sally Beauty, the closest Sally Beauty store near Center City Philadelphia is 330 W Oregon Ave. 19148. Which is super close to a Burlington Coat Factory, Ross Dress for Less and the Oregon Diner - so sounds like a perfect back to school shopping trip to hit all three stores and end with lunch.

Sally Beauty: 20% Off Your Next Purchase With Sally Beauty Mobile Signup Text "DEALS" to 72559 to get 20% off your next Sally Beauty purchase.

Posted 8/17/2016

Letter "T" for one of my favorite stores Target! Don't you just love their Archer Farms goodies? Have you ever tried the AF chocolate chip pancake mix!?! 4 Tines.  But this coupon is for what happens after you've made the pancakes and need to clean up the counter and dishes.

Target: $15 Off Household Essentials | Use this code to take $15 off select household essentials, including laundry, paper products, cleaners, and kitchen essentials, when you spend $50 or more!

Posted 8/14/2016
Letter "U" As a blogger I'm always looking to improve my photography skills, just now learning about udemy from Groupon Coupon. Check out all the discount classes udemy offers!

Posted 8/12/2016

Letter "V" Vitacost (Vitamins, Supplements, Herbs, Beauty Care, Pet Health) It's rare that you buy just one bottle of vitamins or supplements at a time, normally you run out of everything at about the same rate.  It's almost time for me to reorder: Biotin (trying to strengthen my nails) Fish Oil (be careful, the wrong fish oil can do more damage than good) Vitamin D and Probiotics.  If all that = $60 I can get $10 off with this Groupon Coupon from Vitacost!

Vitacost: $10 Off Exclusive CodeUse this promo code to get $10 off any purchase of $60+ at Vitacost! Grab up vitamins, granola bars, and anything else you need, for less! Offer Ends 9/1/2016.

Posted 8/10/2016

Letter "W" - The Walgreens that I go to most often in Philly is on 1617 John F Kennedy Blvd., mainly because it's located across the street from a Wine Shoppe and Corner Bakery, two places I frequent often. Corner Bakery even follows me on Instagram, which is cool! 

Walgreens New Customers 15% Off Orders $40+ 

Posted 8/8/2016 

Today we're up to the letter "X" which is a tough letter for an offer, however domain names can be what you want, just insert x name :) In addition to the Groupon Coupon hosting package below, Namecheap offers domains for as cheap as .88 cents a year!  I pay $10 annually for tinseltine.com and I thought that was cheap.

Namecheap: Get 20% off all shared hosting packages with this NameCheap promo code. Click to reveal the code and enter it at checkout to see the savings. Offer Ends 9/1/2016.

Posted 8/6/2016

This one's more Groupon, than Groupon Coupon, but I needed something for the letter "Y".  I used to attend yoga classes regularly, but the place where I invested a 6 month pass was full of snooty, yogi bitches, so I stopped going, but every spot has a different vibe, and I hear good things about Bikram. After you visit, please let me know if the regulars seem friendly.

Choose Between Two Options $25 for five Bikram yoga classes ($75 value) $29 for one month of unlimited Bikram yoga classes ($119 value) 

Click here to see the class schedule. A Chat with Bikram Yoga West Philly What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition? Bikram Yoga West Philly is a new state-of-the-art facility in the heart of West Philadelphia. Our spacious hot room can accommodate all who come to participate. Large, clean bathrooms and showers for both women and men. Fresh organic juices and plenty of HAPPY, SMILING faces!!! 

Posted 8/5/2016

You can find a ZipCar office in Center City on 218 S 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107.  My favorite spots to eat in this neighborhood are Tria (1137 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19107) for drinks and a light nosh and Caribou Cafe (1126 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107) which has been there for as long as I can remember.  My old boss used to take me there for lunch. I don't miss a lot of his crazy nonsense, but I do miss his generosity when it came lunchtime!

Use this Zipcar.com promo code to get $25 in free driving credit.


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Tinsel & Tine (Reel & Dine): Philly Film, Food & Events Blog


BlackStar Film Festival Coverage August 4-7, 2016

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Movie Blogger Le Anne Lindsay's
BlackStar Film Festival 2016 Highlights


Opening Night Film:  


directed by Akin Omotoso Moratiwa, (North American Premiere)

An aspiring novelist with writer’s block, meets South Africa’s No. 1 celebrity model, Nat Masilo, after her best friend drags her to a nightclub in the city. Against insurmountable odds, Nat begins to court Moratiwa. Two different worlds collide in this charming, funny, romantic and very sweet film showing a side of Johannesburg that is rarely seen: the City of Gold as a City of Love.

Moratiwa (Nomzamo Mbatha ) plays a woman who peaked too early, having won several prestigious writing awards as a youth. Her plan was to continue writing as a career delivering the quintessential love story, but an extremely hurtful relationship and too much creative pressure leads her to owning a book store by day and reading beneath the covers at night. Until a 45ft Man shows up across the street from her store.

Nomzamo is very lovely, bright, with a hint of mischievousness. I'd love to see her in something again. In fact, she's got the personality to carry a TV series. 

Bottom Line: I would have liked a better "Meet Cute" for the couple other than just eyeing each other from across the Club, but on the whole the film brings together all the elements fans of the rom/com genre are looking to see, including a funny male sidekick, interested in the sassy best friend. What I loved about this film and several others that played during the festival, is simply showing people who are not white falling in love and having romantic entanglements and issues that have nothing to do with their color, race or country.

Below are excerpt of the Post Screening Q&A with filmmaker Akin Omotoso

(video will not be visible to those receiving T&T via RSS feed click HERE to view) 

Tell Me Sweet Something Q&A 6:40


directed by Shola Amoo
A film about gentrification in Brixton, A Moving Image incorporates fiction, documentary and performance art. We follow Nina, a young stifled artist, as she returns to her community after a long absence and is painted as a symbol of gentrification. As she struggles with her own complicity, we follow her mission to create a piece of art that can bring her community together. On her journey, we speak to real people affected by gentrification in Brixton, blurring the line between fiction and reality. 

Bottom Line: It's incredible the way Amoo is able to seamlessly blend an indie narrative about a young woman struggling with her identity and depression and a documentary capturing real life happenings around a movement to stop gentrification of a district in South London.  And once again, romance and flirtation is present in a way that is fun and healthy. Nina has two suitors in the film both artists, one white, one black, however, their color is never a focus or a factor in her decision to be with one or the other or neither.

Below are excerpt of the Post Screening Q&A with filmmaker Shola Amoo

(video will not be visible to those receiving T&T via RSS feed click HERE to view) 

Q&A 7:27

Much of the festival's screenings and events were added to Tinsel & Tine's #PhillyCalendar and promoted via Social Media Blasts

By Indie Means Necessary: directors Matthew Cherry (9 Rides) and Anisia Uzeyman (Dreamstates) discuss the pros and cons of shooting their narrative features with an iPhone or two. Veteran filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson (Eason) joins in to discuss filmmaking as an art.

(video will not be visible to those receiving T&T via RSS feed click HERE to view) 

9 Rides closed the festival, starring Dorian Missick as an Uber driver out on New Year's Eve interacting and conversing with a broad range of fares, while worried about his girlfriend having too much fun on NYE without him. Cherry does a fine job of creating a picture of who this character is by his reactions and responses to situations with his passengers and phone calls to his girlfriend; almost the entire movie is shot within the confines of the car.

Click HERE to view Video Q&A with cast and director, Raafi Rivero from 72 Hours: A Brooklyn Love Story
Caesar Winslow, 18, is the charismatic leader of his crew. Unlike his friends, he has a chance to leave Brooklyn and attend a prestigious university. But he’s got big problems. His girlfriend’s dumped him and guys in the neighborhood are already lining up to take his crown. Torn by his desire to experience a new world and fear of leaving the only world he’s ever known, Caesar has 72 hours to steel himself. 

Again we get to experience black love. Yes, they do live in the projects, and the story deals with getting out and doing better. But mainly we're seeing life through the eyes of typical teens going through that time in life where every slight and jealousy seems overly dire and important, when in actuality it's just growing pains.  

Click HERE to view: Video Q&A featuring Julie Dash The Great Migration
The Great Migration: A City Transformed (1916-1930) explores the historic tide of African Americans moving north that changed Philadelphia, the United States, and the world. The center of this project created by Scribe Video Center is a series of commissioned media arts works that reveal the ties between the agricultural world the migrants left behind and the new industrial world they would in turn help create. A nationally-renowned team of artists (Julie Dash, Kevin Jerome Everson, Lonnie Graham, Tina Morton, and Mendi + Keith Obadike), explore five institutions that were created or reformed during the period of the first Great Migration.

Posting soon: Video Q&A featuring director Marquette Jones of Forgiving Chris Brown (short) a dark comedy short that follows the follies of “Rihanna,”“Halle” and “Tina.” Set in the picturesque landscapes of California—Joshua Tree and Malibu—the film follows these stylish girlfriends as they hope to heal their battered hearts the old-fashioned way, through revenge and How to Tell You’re a Douchebag directed by Tahir Jetter A dark comedy about a misogynist who falls in love.  
Unfortunately, I only saw the tail end of Forgiving Chris Brown, but How to Tell You're a Douchebag is as much fun as the title suggests. Only I feel the douchbaggery went both ways. Ray (Charles Brice) was a dog with many hookups, sure. And he may not have had the best approach when meeting Rochelle (DeWanda Wise) but she made some really douchey moves against him for basically just being interested in her. Plus, her shady arrangement with the constant snacker guy, didn't exactly put her in the best light. Rochelle is gorgeous with light brown eyes, but that shouldn't automatically give her the right to be telling somebody about themselves. All that shutting men down stuff gives black women a bad rep for having attitudes.


BlackStar was featured on T&T's Radio Segment: That's Show Biz with Chuck Darrow
My segment's starting point is 44:20



 By Indie Means Necessary. August 4-7, 2016

This year BlackStar Film Festival will present over 65 curated films, panel discussions, experimental projects and music videos. 

Main screening venues: the International House and Drexel's Pearlstein Gallery. 

This year’s theme is migration, which will be portrayed throughout the featured films. A few of the festival highlights include Spirits of Rebellion: Black Cinema from UCLA featuring Zeinabu irene Davis, and How to Tell You're a Douchebag by Tahir Jetter A dark comedy about a misogynist who falls in love..

Of course BlackStar and it's Artistic Director, Maori Karmael Holmes welcome film-goers of all nationalities; their intention is to be inclusive in its celebration of Black culture and film.

A free opening party will take place at Johnny Brenda's in Fishtown [Free admittance with reservation] on Thursday (8/4) after the opening film which is actually a romantic comedy called Tell Me Something Sweet directed by Akin Omotoso about a female aspiring novelist with writers block who meets a famous male model in Johannesburg.

[Festival passes are $150 per person, while individual movie tickets are $12 per person (seniors, students, International House members and BlackStar members can all receive discounts]

So come to West Philly to enjoy a carefully curated selection of some of the best independent films from across the globe made by and about people of African descent or who otherwise identify as Black.

 visit - BLACKSTAR FESTIVAL SCHEDULE  / Purchase All-Access Pass

Read  #BSFF16 Guidebook with interviews and reviews 
Click HERE for past Tinsel & Tine Film Festival Coverage


Philly Events Calendar

tinseltine@gmail.com  Click AGENDA VIEW to see complete list of happenings.

Featured Post

Emerging Cinema: VOICELESS The Movie

  Highlighting Philly Made Film - "Voiceless"  by Le Anne Lindsay, Tinsel & Tine Editor The Philadelphia Independent Fil...

Food n Film: BURNT

Food n Film: BURNT
Bradley Cooper has more than charisma, he has an over abundance of Chi, which radiates out from him; so for me, this role as temperamental and damaged chef Adam Jones, who also inspires great love and admiration from those around him, works on the level of characterization. In fact, I think he's among a very short list of actors who would be able to pull off being so self-involved and yet likable. Doesn't hurt that he really speaks French too! READ POST

Eater Philly - All

Food n Film: CHEF

Food n Film: CHEF
Much of the movie centers around the father/son relationship, and how much they learn from each other. But the real star of the film is all the food preparation, every other scene made me groan with want of everything up on that screen! Particularly the perfectly roasted and rubbed brisket, the crispy fat of the pork belly, sizzling bacon and the much ballyhooed Chocolate Lava Cake. READ POST


The key to deciphering both the city it beautifully depicts and the man who eats it best - City of Gold

By Tinsel & Tine Contributor Denine Gorniak (The Bicycle-Chef)

What Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times food critic/writer, has done for food writing journalism and for the restaurants that he loves, the movie, City of Gold has done for Jonathan Gold and Los Angeles and its surrounding environs – it has planted taco covered kisses on them... READ POST

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT

Food n Film: CHOCOLAT
If you’re a foodie movie lover who saw Lasse Hallström’s The Hundred Foot Journey (see T&T post), this summer you may be wondering what delicious visual journey might be awaiting you in the theater next. Well, how about a look back at his film Chocolat (2000), which stars French actress Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Johnny Depp. Hallström’s has a special talent for turning cooking into a dramatic movie journey...READ MORE


...young Hassan, a soulful-eyed boy with lush, thick eye lashes, places his face into the sea urchin basket, and breathes in the exotic briny scent. He sticks his fingers into the aquatic ooze, takes it to his mouth and is transfixed by the taste. The vendor, oblivious to the thrusting arms of frenzied women, notices the boy and realizes he is the only one worthy of this oceanic prize; he is the one who can “truly taste.” ... READ MORE

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA

Food n Film: JULIE & JULIA
Personally, I like the unevenness of it, because I fell in love with the post World War II, Parisian sights, sounds, food and romance between Julia and Paul. I always felt a bit jarred back into reality when the scenes returned to Julie's meltdowns and cramped kitchen.READ POST

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE

Food n Film: EAT PRAY LOVE
Six months into my 38th year of this life, I had my first panic attack. I didn't know that's what it was until months later. Symptom after symptom starting piling up on me until there were days I could no longer move my arms or neck. The doctors told me I was suffering from an auto-immune condition that they felt was most likely Lupus. And so began my much deeper journey and exploration into the world of spirit, alternative medicine, yoga, meditation and Eat, Pray, Love. READ POST

Philadelphia Magazine » Blog » Foobooz


With a film like this, food plays a main character in the story and I was lucky enough to get an interview with the film's Food Stylist, Janine Kalesis.READ POST

Food n Film: WAITRESS

Food n Film: WAITRESS
In this 2007 film, Keri Russell stars as Jenna - a desolate diner waitress seeking solace in the art of pie-making. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she’s eager to escape her husband and her small-town hell and sets about to make a run for it by entering an out of town pie baking contest. READ POST


Those of us in attendance were not only given the opportunity to see Babette's Feast, the Oscar winning, Danish film, considered one of the all-time great "food films"; we also got to taste Babette's menu! READ POST


I participated in WalkMS Philly on 4/30/16
Thank you to the readers who donated to the cause - It's not too late to support! Click badge below

15 Top Food in Film Flicks

15 Top Food in Film Flicks
Cozy Quilt of Food Movies, we'll add more patches as T &T discovers more films where food plays the biggest "roll"

Tinsel & Tine on Paper.li

Tinsel & Tine on Paper.li
Really love this platform, you feature your stuff and other people's stuff you follow, and it all configures like the front page of a newspaper. Click to see what I mean

Visit Our YouTube Channel

Visit Our YouTube Channel
View Q & A's with visiting Filmmakers to Philly

Philly Food and Film

Videographer Oliver Gallini 5 min short featuring organic-chemist-turned-chef, Townsend Wentz, who got his start at The Four Seasons Philadelphia.


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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?
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