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August 26, 2016: Venice Film Festival Cancels Opening Gala to Honor Italy Earthquake Victims, Twitter Developing Page Dedicated to Live Event Streams, U.S. Political Campaigns Attract Voters Through Snapchat

1. VENICE FILM FESTIVAL CANCELS OPENING GALA TO HONOR ITALY EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS: The 73rd annual Venice International Film Festival has canceled its opening night gala to honor the victims of the earthquake the struck central Italy on Wednesday. The Hollywood Reporter: "The grand festivities have taken place in recent years on the beach outside of the Excelsior hotel with a large buffet and cocktail reception honoring the opening-night film. The fest is set to run Aug. 31-Sept. 10. This year, Lionsgate is bringing the global premiere of Damien Chazelle’s new film La La Land to open the festival, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. There is no word yet if Lionsgate or the fest plans to donate to relief efforts in lieu of the festivities. 'Gala Dinner and cocktail party on the beach cancelled for the opening of #Venice73 in respect and solidarity to the victims of the earthquake,' festival director Alberto Barbera tweeted Thursday. Organizers expressed in a statement, 'our deepest sympathies for the victims, as well as heartfelt solidarity and closeness to the hard-hit communities.' The 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the sleeping central Italy, destroying hundreds of homes and almost entire villages, with Amatrice, Pescara del Tronto, Arquata del Tronto and Accumoli being hit the hardest.  The death toll stands at over 250, and violent aftershocks on Thursday hampered relief efforts."

2. TWITTER DEVELOPING PAGE DEDICATED TO LIVE EVENT STREAMS: Twitter is slated to launch a page dedicated to coverage of live events, to simplify the process of finding streaming links. A date hasn't been announced for the page launch, but it's possible it will debut at the start of the N.F.L.'s regular season. VentureBeat: "Earlier today, Twitter’s chief financial officer Anthony Noto confirmed the livestreaming effort in a tweet. As Twitter signs content partnerships with major sports leagues and other groups, the company has begun testing out its video capabilities to ensure that it can scale. The best way to do this is open it up to the service’s 313 million monthly active users, but in a way that doesn’t overload the system. That’s probably why users are seeing notifications within the Twitter app inviting them to watch things like the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, the PGA Tour’s Barclays golf tournament, Wimbledon, and other events. Should Twitter work out all the kinks of its platform, it’ll likely move into the next phase of more active promotion. After all, having a service that fails at a time when you absolutely need it to work won’t look good for the company. Live events have been a big part of Twitter’s core focus ever since Jack Dorsey reassumed control of the company as chief executive. 'We believe we have a leadership position in it,' he remarked during its first quarter 2016 earnings call. 'But it’s not just about showing a live event, it’s also hosting a conversation around a live event. Twitter has always been the best place to see what’s happening immediately, instantly, to bring people around a particular shared experience.'"

3. U.S. POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS ATTRACT VOTERS THROUGH SNAPCHAT: The campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are reaching out to millennials via Snapchat, in an effort to get the demographic to vote in the election this November. Bloomberg: “Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump have both stepped up their spending on Snapchat in the past month, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Clinton campaign is buying video ads with a targeted number of views by Snapchat's audience, while Trump is running an interactive ad seeking users' e-mail addresses, said the person, who asked not to be named because the details aren't public. Both campaigns have used Snapchat's geographic photo-filter tools in the past at political rallies, but this is their first significant national advertising spend on the platform. Though it started as an app for sending silly disappearing selfies, Snapchat has evolved into a legitimate news platform, now counting more than 150 million daily users, some three-fourths of whom fall into the coveted 18-31 age-group demographic. According to Nielsen Ratings, on any given day Snapchat reaches 41 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. More millennials watched the election's early debates on Snapchat than on TV. … The first Democratic presidential candidate to take advantage of the platform for advertising was Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who ran a nine-day campaign on the site early in 2016 during the Iowa caucuses, after an appearance in a Live Story feature. As the election moved past the primaries, both the Clinton and Trump campaigns have paid for geofilters, images or text that appear over pictures captured within a limited geographic area, and Snap Ads, 10-second full-screen videos that play between other content.”


ATLANTA:  The Georgia Restaurant Association has announced the finalists for the 10th annual Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence Awards, which will take place November 13 at the Delta Flight Museum. A complete list of finalists can be found here:

AUSTIN:  The second annual Austin Music Video Festival will take place September 7-10 at various venues. The event celebrates the city's music video heritage with screenings, parties, panels, and workshops.

CHICAGO:  The Windy City Wine Festival will take place September 9-10. The event is sponsored by US Bank.

LAS VEGAS:  The Palm Las Vegas, inside the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, is now accepting group dining reservations for early September following an expansive remodel.

LOS ANGELES:  The Motion Picture & Television Fund announced that George Clooney will host “Hollywood’s Night Under The Stars,” an evening of musical performances and special presentations celebrating the group's 95th year. The event is slated for October 1 at the fund's Wasserman Campus in Woodland Hills.

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  GreenspoonMarder and Executive South Florida magazine are hosting a breakfast panel discussion September 28 at Brickell World Plaza about emerging communities in the Brickell area.

MasTec C.E.O. José R. Mas will be the keynote speaker at the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund's annual Success Stories Luncheon, which takes place September 27 at the Treetop Ballroom in Jungle Island.

MINNEAPOLIS:  The flagship Radisson Red Minneapolis hotel will open this fall . The hotel will have 164 studio rooms and 1,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

NEW YORK:  Diffa's Picnic by Design will take place September 7 at Mercantile Annex. The annual fund-raiser will have picnic fare catered by Canard Inc., Murray's Cheese, and STK. Designers will include Andrea Algaze Design Concepts, Anthony Morris Designs, Scott Brownrigg, and Steven South.

The 26th annual Susan G. Komen Greater NYC Race for the Cure will take place September 10 in Central Park. The event will feature an appearance from Mikhail Varshavski, People's "Sexiest Doctor Alive."

The Brooklyn Book Festival will take place September 18. The event will feature readings and discussions from more than 200 authors including Margaret Atwood, Margo Jefferson, and Russell Banks.

Hyatt House New York/Chelsea will open this fall. The 150-room, 30-story extended stay hotel will have an rooftop indoor-outdoor fitness center and a second-floor restaurant and bar serving Hyatt's signature breakfast, dinner, and cocktails.

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Le Diner en Blanc will take place in Orlando for the first time on October 13. The dinner is being produced by Just Another Grand Affair event management agency. STK Orlando is an official local partner and Apothic Wine is the official wine partner of the 2016 U.S. Diner en Blanc series.

SAN FRANCISCO:  Chef Kim Alter, formerly of the Daniel Patterson Group, has launched the American restaurant Nightbird and the adjacent six-seat, 1930s-theme cocktail lounge the Linden Room in the Hayes Valley neighborhood.  

TORONTO:  Port Lands music venue Sound Academy will reopen as Rebel on October 1. blogTO:

Restaurant company Oliver & Bonacini has opened Leña at Saks Fifth Avenue at CF Toronto Eaton Centre. The restaurant, which has a variety of private dining spaces and a lounge, was designed by DesignAgency. The menu is headed by chef Anthony Walsh and features South American dishes with Spanish and Italian influences.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Maryland Live! Casino has named Robert Tedesco senior vice president and assistant general manager in Hanover, Maryland. He was previously vice president and assistant general manager of Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa in Las Vegas.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin and Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Carla Hay, Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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