Vegas Independent Film Festival Exciting Purple Carpets and Screenings
Photos by Nikki Artale

I love seeing all the new movies that are shown here in Las Vegas and as all of you know, it is one of my favorite things to do. You can imagine the joy and thrill it was for me to attend the Vegas Independent Film Festival VIFF! that was held May 1 through May 9 with screenings at the Orleans Hotel and Casino, the Palms and at Theater 7. The VIFF! opened with the world premiere of Territory 8 to a packed house.  Derek Stonebarger the festival director was excited to premier the independent films which is now in its fourth year.
Frankie Castro
One of my favorite films was “Liars, Fires and Bears”, starring Megli Micek who as a nine year old won a best actress award for her stunning performance. Megli is a star and she has a bright future as an actress. The film was directed by Jeremy Cloe and produced by Constanza Castro who also won Golden Bulb Awards for Best Nevada Film, best actor and actress.

Another outstanding film was “Matt’s Chance” starring Edward Furlong, Gary Busey and Lee Majors. The cast received the Golden Bulb Awards,the light bulbs which  are taken from the “Welcome to Las Vegas Sign”. I was especially happy to meet and talk to Edward Furlong at the after party at McMullen’s Irish Pub. I remembered when he was cast for his first role in the Terminator with Arnold Schwarzenegger and how they found him at a boys club and that was the start of his career.
Derek Stonebarger and Edward Furlong
Nikki Artale and Edward Furlong
48 Hour Film Project Awards screenings were shown in the Nevada Short Film Block and the Nevada Premier of “Two Hundred Thousand Dirty” featuring Coolio. Many other awards were presented after the screenings.
Indie film legend Ted V Mikels presented his film “Corpse Grinders 111” at Theatre 7 and the audience, family and friends was pleased with the feature film.
Ted V Mikels and Dr. Lonnie Hammergren

The closing encore feature film was at The Palms Hotel Casino “Little Monsters” and was written and directed by David Schmoeller. Little Monsters tells the true story of James and Carl, who at 10 years old Kidnapped and murdered three year old David McClendon. Now at eighteen years old the story follows them upon their release and starting over. It is powerful and mesmerizing. David Schmoeller was presented with the 2013 Lifetime Filmmaker award for Producer/Director.
May May Luong and David Schmoeller


Vegas Uncork’d by bon appetite Grand Tasting Event

Photos by Nikki Artale

Vegas Uncork’d by bon appetite has been the most anticipated food event of the year that featured the award winning chefs from Caesars Palace, Bellagio, MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay. It was the seventh Grand tasting event held at the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace. The culinary masters included the always popular Gordon Ramsey and Bobby Flay who walked the red carpet along with many of the popular chefs from the strip resorts.

Chef Gordon Ramsey
Chef Bobby Flay
Gordon Ramsey had three booths that featured his Gordon Ramsey BurGR, Gordon Ramsey Pub & Grill Gordon Ramsey  Steak and I must say I absolutely loved the BurGR.
Many other famous chefs from popular restaurants displayed their culinary skills in their booths and Steve Martorano, owner chef of CafĂ© Martorano at the Rio All Suite Hotel demonstrated making mozzarella cheese. Steve has been known for his famous meatballs and I must say that they didn’t disappoint that night as being the best. 
Chef Steve Martorqano and Marsha

Another outstanding demonstration was in the Beijing Noodle No. 9 booth, watching the making of the noodles from start to finish, and the finished product was sensational.    
Other outstanding booths with delicious food were Kerry Simon, Tao, Rao’s, Wolfgang Puck and the always popular chocolates.

In addition to the wonderful food from all the great chefs we tasted some of the best wines and spirits from around the world.
The time went by so quickly and I didn’t want the night to end on this marvelous night of rock star chefs and their wonderful, fabulous food and I can’t wait for next year’s event.

Penn Jillette Attends Viewing Party at Opportunity Village

Photos by Nikki Artale

Penn Jillette attended a viewing party to watch the latest episode of “All Star Celebrity Apprentice” at the Engelstad Campus of Opportunity Village. He was greeted with a lot of love and enthusiasm from everyone and he resembled the Pied Piper as everyone flocked around hugging and kissing him.  


Penn Jillette has once again competed in the T.V. Reality Show and as a project manager last week he won $50,000.00 bringing the total winnings to over $700,000.00 and he has donated that amount to Opportunity Village. Donald Trump has made a huge impact with his All Star Celebrity Apprentice, where the stars compete weekly to win money for the charities that are close to their hearts.

Opportunity Village invited Penn and his wife Emily to the viewing and used this opportunity to unveil a statue dedicated to him for being a longtime supporter of OV. They were touched by the welcome the received, the unveiling of the statue and it left Penn speechless and his eyes filled with tears.  .  
Nikki Artale and Penn Jillette

It was so special to see Penn and Emily with the children and adults interacting and sharing a whole lot of love in the room. It was touching to see Emily giving hugs and in return she was gently touched on the head as a gesture of love and affection.
Emily Jillette