'Dating in your 50s is like Netflix – there are too many options'

When Denise Robinson (50) returned to dating after her divorce, she thought it would be easier to meet someone new – but she was proven wrong.

After moving from Northern Ireland to Dublin, with her new-found single freedom she decided to give every method a whirl, from speed dating to websites and apps.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

New to Independent.ie? Create an account

She remembers how one bad date left her feeling upset to her stomach. “To cut a long story short, he got annoyed after I told him he wasn’t coming home with me, told me to have a nice life, walked out and left me with the €70 bill.”

The modern dating world is tricky to navigate no matter what age you are, but for people over the age of 50, it can strike fear in those trying to find a match for the second, third or tenth time.

Even former TV presenter and model Ulrika Jonsson (52) admits that she has found dating in her fifties a struggle. Jonsson appeared on Channel 4’s First Dates Hotel recently in a bid to find love again after not one but three divorces.

She spoke of how her confidence hit rock bottom approaching her 52nd birthday as a single woman.

Those in that bracket have a whole life behind them, possibly an ex-partner, maybe kids, and finding someone to spend the rest of your life with can feel as daunting as it did 20 years ago.

The peak age for separation and divorce in Ireland is 53; and there are 32,225 more separated and divorced women than men, according to the 2016 census.

Not only that, but there was an increase of nearly 30,000 separated or divorced people between 2011 and 2016.

With so many people flying solo, why is it so difficult for people in their 50s to face the thought of finding love again?

Denise doesn’t feel pressure to re-marry and emphasises that single life in your 40s and 50s can be a great experience, but says that returning to the dating world was completely different to when she was younger.

“When I got back into dating, I thought it would be no bother, but I’m still single. It’s difficult to meet the right men, the dating world has changed with apps and social media; it’s like Netflix, there are too many options,” she said. “At this age in life you know so much, you’ve lost your past insecurities and you want company and companionship. You don’t need someone solely to make you feel good when you feel good yourself, that’s how I feel about it.”

Denise, who also once featured on the Irish version of the dating show, says that while her experience has been mostly positive, one disaster date sticks out.

“I joined the app Bumble at the start of the year after a friend recommended it, but after two weeks of matching and some messages I deleted it as it wasn’t for me,” she said.

She then got a message on Facebook from someone asking where she disappeared to on the app – and after some convincing they agreed to meet for a drink in Dublin.

“I met him in a wine bar where he ordered a bottle. I noticed he was a bit arrogant but thought I’d feel it out. Two bottles of wine later he wanted to order a third, but I wanted to move to somewhere livelier and wasn’t drinking as fast as him.

“We moved elsewhere, and he had three gins when I had one. He left after I corrected his presumptions that he was coming home with me. I remember feeling so upset that he thought it was okay to treat a woman that way.”

In the last two years alone, matchmaker Hugh Redmond of 2Connect.ie has noticed a 60pc increase in attendees at his speed dating events across Ireland that are either divorced or separated.

“There’s a lot people coming out of relationships that are clueless and figuring out how to meet people. Most of them aren’t interested in online dating,” he said.

“My goal is to coach people and get them date-ready – a lot of people make mistakes on a first date which is a shame. Many people are nervous and take it all too seriously.” One of Hugh’s success stories, 53-year-old Mary from Dublin returned to the dating world two years after separating from her partner, and found success after attending a face-to-face dating event.

“I was unsure about approaching the dating scene today especially as a more mature woman. As a younger single girl, the ‘pool’ was obviously bigger – I was socialising on a regular basis with friends and the places to meet someone of the opposite sex was a pub, club or disco ‘slow set’.

After a successful evening at the dating soirée, Mary signed up to their website and quickly connected with a man who contacted her profile. The pair are currently dating and see each other on a regular basis.

“My only other dating experience was a blind date. He was a very nice guy, but we had no chemistry and therefore the chat was a bit laboured… so it was a sweet but very short evening,” she said.

Mary isn’t the only one to meet her new boyfriend on a dating app, something that wasn’t around when she was dating in her 20s. Kerry Manning (53), originally from South Africa but living in Galway, met her partner on a dating website and the pair have been together for two years.

Kerry believes that any divorcees getting back into dating should give modern technology a try – “What have you got to lose?” she said.

“Every ‘no’ is one step closer to a ‘yes’. You could meet people who are just friends for life and not relationship material.”

Kerry, who decided to start writing about her everyday life on her blog Fabulicious Fifty, found that chatting to people on dating apps gave her the boost of confidence she needed.

“I tried Tinder for a short amount of time. One date I went on, when he arrived I realised he was 5″1 and I’m 5″8 – so that one didn’t work out.

“But when I came out of my marriage, my confidence was on the floor. I thought to myself, how am I supposed to meet someone? Yes, there are weirdos on dating sites and you have to be careful, but it did help my self-confidence.”

When returning to dating, occupational therapist Peter Connolly from Lifestyle Awareness advises daters to leave their baggage at the door and to have patience with the dating game.

“We focus so much on the work of how to meet that we can neglect the inner romance of rediscovering who we are and what we want our lives to look and feel like. Energetically attracting the people we desire to meet, whether online or offline, can require some inner work and guidance.

“Dating a lot may not be the answer either. Relationship coaching, exploring Tantra or even therapy can be helpful options to consider reconnecting with ourselves, our desires and bodies.”

Source: Read Full Article

15 "Good Morning" Texts To Send Your Partner & Brighten Up Their Day

One of the surprising benefits of being in a serious relationship that I wasn’t aware of until I entered my current one was the abundance of "good morning" texts from someone who isn’t my mom or dad. There’s something so special about getting to start your day knowing there’s someone you love out there who started their day thinking of you. That being said, thinking of "good morning" texts to send to your partner can be a little tricky.

The way I see it, it all starts with the sort of vibe you want to set for this text. What tone are you going for? Do you want to be funny? Do you want to be encouraging? Do you want to be sexy? Do you want to be sweet? Once you’ve decided on a vibe, it’s time to decide on a text to send that matches the vibe you’ve chosen. And that’s where things get really tricky because, like, what do you say?! Well, luckily, I’m here to help you with that. No matter what tone you’re going for in your text, you can scan this article for some options for what to say to your partner first thing in the morning.

Some LOL-worthy funny texts…

If you’re more of a funny texter, the sky is honestly the limit with what you can do. There are thousands (if not millions) of hilarious gifs for you to choose from. There are funny YouTube videos. Now, you even have the chance to incorporate videos and voice recordings into your texts to make things multi-dimensionally funny. So, yeah, there’s lots you can do. And I have a few of my personal favorite options here for you:

  • "Morning, babe. LET’S GET AFTER IT TODAY. [combine with video of you doing funny pump-up dance]"
  • "Morning babe! Hope this day doesn’t turn out to be as hot as you are (lol because we’d all die)."
  • "Hello and welcome to another blessed day in which you get to be my partner. Like, seriously. What CAN’T you do?"

Now, if all of those sound a little too generic for you, another option is to think of an inside joke the two of you share and remind them of it first thing in the morning. That’s a guaranteed dunk.

Some gushy loving texts…

If you’re feeling totally, completely, googly-eye level in love with your partner, you might find yourself wanting to start the day by sending them a gushy love text. If you can’t decide exactly which gushy love text to send, try out one of these:

  • "Woke up this morning feeling so lucky to have you as my partner."
  • "Just wanted to pop in this morning to say I love you soo much."
  • "Morning, my love! "

To make any of those even more personal, you can add a sentence or two explaining what it is about them, specifically, that you love so much.

Some ego-boosting pump-up texts…

Let’s say your partner has been feeling a little down in the dumps lately. Or maybe they haven’t been feeling down in the dumps but they’ve just got a big day ahead. The point is one of your jobs as their partner is to be their number one fan and today, more than ever, you need to do your duty. I’d suggest sending one of these texts to help them start their day off on the right foot:

  • "You are literally the best person to have ever faced this Earth. Time to go prove to the world what you and I BOTH already know."
  • "No matter what happens today, you’ll always have me by your side. And I’m so LUCKY that I get to be the person standing by your side."
  • "Good morning to the hottest, smartest, funniest, and all around best human being alive."

Again, as with the other texts, feel free to personalize any of these a bit more to cater to your partner’s specific situation or to help quell their specific insecurities. But the overall point of these messages is to make them feel like there’s someone out there who thinks that they’re nothing short of incredible.

Some easy, quick "just because" texts…

Maybe you’re not really trying to do anything but… just say hey. You don’t really feel like being funny. You don’t really want to be over-the-top mushy. You just want to check in with your partner and see what’s up and you’d preferably like to make that happen quickly. If you’re just trying to send a quick, neutral text, I’d suggest sending one of these:

  • "Morning, babe!"
  • "Hi!"
  • "Rise and shiiiine!"

I know I went heavy on the exclamation points there, so feel free to either sub out for periods or leave out all-together depending on your texting style.

Some sexy wake up calls…

Maybe this particular morning you’ve found yourself feeling sexier than usual. If you want the first thing your partner sees this morning to be a steamy text from you, I’d suggest going with one of these texts:

  • "Woke up thinking about [insert sexy memory you guys shared here]…"
  • "You know I had a pretty steamy dream about us last night…"
  • "What’s up, sexy?"

Feel free to pair any of those texts with a sexy emoji or maybe even some sexy pics if you’re feeling both trustworthy and adventurous.

Now get texting!

Source: Read Full Article

Kylo Ren Is Giving Off Serious Mr. Darcy Vibes In ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Trailer

A rain-soaked Kylo Ren is giving the internet all the Jane Austen feels. Twitter has even gone as far to say that Kylo Ren is the Mr. Darcy of the new Rise Of Skywalker trailer. Honestly, looking at Adam Driver in the latest Star Wars Episode 9 teaser, the comparisons to 2005’s Pride & Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen, are not all that farfetched. In fact, a Twitter user named @_ThanksHermione wondered if Rise Of Skywalker is "space Pride and Prejudice."

It’s all thanks to a particular dreamy shot of Kylo Ren at the 45-second mark the new trailer, in which he shows up to confront Rey (Daisy Ridley). His all-black ensemble is dripping wet and Twitter couldn’t help but notice that the force of Mr. Darcy is strong with this one. Compare this moment with the proposal scene from 2005’s Pride & Prejudice and it’s hard not to think Driver would be the perfect Mr. Darcy.

While Kylo Ren, the romantic lead, may sound funny, the similarities between the two characters is actually uncanny. They’re both very large men wearing very long cape coats showing up in the rain to propose to a woman whose first impression of him is not all that great. Now, "I love you" might not be the message Kylo Ren is there to give Rey in this trailer, but he does propose a new idea. After Rey says in a voice over that no one really knows her, Kylo tells her "but I do" before the two appear to duke it out. But, let’s face it, that might be as close to "I love you" as Kylo can get.

The similarity is so eery, Nerdist’s Rachel Heine went as far to add some of Mr. Darcy’s best quotes to the Rise Of Skywalker image. "You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you," she tweeted, along with a GIF of Kylo Ren pulling out his lightsaber.

For many Kylo Ren stans, none of this is all that surprising. After all, the real ones have been making the Kylo Ren and Mr. Darcy comparisons since 2018, pointing out that they are both moody, misunderstood men who will find redemption in the end. Another sign that Star Wars has some Austenesque influences was Eddie Redmayne’s 2016 revealing that he read a scene from Pride & Prejudice during his Kylo Ren audition.

It’s true, that in this particular trailer, Kylo Ren is rocking a very Mr. Darcy-esque look of piecey bangs and pouty lips. Not to emtion their shared penchant for dramatic coats that are made for walking, whether it’s in the moors of England or a galaxy far, far away, which don’t look all that different.

Perhaps, their endings won’t be all that different either. Maybe Kylo Ren will learn the error of his ways and will leave the dark side to become Ben Solo once again. There are clues throughout the Rise Of The Skywalker trailer that Kylo Ren is not who we think he is, including that shot in which he and Rey seem to be fighting together. But whatever Kylo Ren does in this final Star Wars chapter, he has certainly bewitched us, body and soul.

Source: Read Full Article

Going Somewhere? Not Without These 27 Essential Travel Accessories

Going Somewhere? Not Without These 27 Essential Travel Accessories

It’s always time for a trip, but if you’re going somewhere, you need to be prepared. And for us, that means having the right accessories to survive long flights and complicated airports with ease. Think cute passport holders, compact toiletry cases, and fun luggage tags so you know which bag is yours. Now, our only question is, where to next?

Source: Read Full Article

Queen Elizabeth Is Really Feeling for Meghan Markle in Her Battle With the Tabloids

Queen Elizabeth II is used to being in the public eye. In fact, it’s the only life that she knows. She’s probably grown accustomed to having all of her decisions scrutinized, cameras following her everywhere she goes, and sharing her life with the public. But that doesn’t mean she likes it.

Recently, the British tabloids have taken to focusing on the Queen’s grandson, Prince Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle. And though the monarch surely knew that Markle would face criticism when marrying into the royal family, her heart is going out to her granddaughter-in-law as she deals with all of this scrutiny.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry vs. the British Tabloids

Before Markle married Prince Harry, her friends warned her that the British tabloids would come for her if she went forward with the relationship.

“In all fairness, I had no idea, which probably sounds difficult to understand and hear,” the Duchess of Sussex told Tom Bradby in the new ITV documentary Harry and Meghan: An African Journey. “But when I first met my now-husband, my friends were really happy because I was so happy but my British friends said to me, ‘I’m sure he’s great but you shouldn’t do it because the British tabloids will destroy your life.’”

Even after the warnings, Markle couldn’t believe that the tabloids would become such a big part of her life.

“And I very naively — I’m American. We don’t have that there — [I said], ‘What are you talking about? That doesn’t make any sense. I’m not in any tabloids,’” she continued. “I didn’t get it. So it’s been, yeah, it’s been complicated.”

View this post on Instagram

[Sound On 🔈] Today is International #DayoftheGirl, a day observed globally and created by the United Nations to acknowledge the gender inequality that exists worldwide. Be it lack of access to education, stigma surrounding MHM, forced child marriage, legal or medical inequality, or gender-based violence, there is a pressing need to support young women in their path to excellence. It is also a day to celebrate and encourage girls to know their value and to support them in taking action to grow into the women they wish to be. The Duchess of Sussex has been a long time advocate for women’s and girls rights and at the age of eleven campaigned against a sexist advertisement, which was then changed. No matter what age, or what background you have the power to make an impact. HRH recently shared a quote during a speech in Cape Town: “Visualize your highest self, and show up as her.” • To all of the young girls reading this today on International Day of the Girl, that quote is for you. Video©️SussexRoyal (Images used are from accounts we have followed and PA images)

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

Since marrying Harry, Markle has been relentlessly hounded in the media. For Prince Harry, this treatment is all too reminiscent of the tabloid’s treatment of his mother, Princess Diana.

“My mum clearly taught me a certain set of values of which I will always try and uphold despite the role and the job that sometimes that entails, if you know what I mean,” Harry said in the documentary. “But I think, I will always protect my family and now I have a family to protect.”

Unfortunately for Diana, the paparazzi stalking led to her untimely death.

“So everything that she went through and what happened to her is incredibly raw every single day and that’s not me being paranoid that’s just me not wanting a repeat of the past,” Harry said. “And if anybody else knew what I knew, be it a father, be it a husband, be it anyone, you’d probably be doing exactly what I’m doing as well.”

How does the Queen feel about Meghan Markle’s treatment?

Markle recently came out and revealed that she is really struggling under the media pressure. Though the Queen has not publicly given any statements regarding the issue, she certainly is sympathetic towards Markle.

View this post on Instagram

This week, The Queen has attended several engagements. On Monday Her Majesty officially opened a new session of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster. On Tuesday, she attended a service to mark the 750th year of the consecration of Westminster Abbey and on Thursday she held a reception at Buckingham Palace celebrating the work of The Queen’s Trust following its closure earlier this year. The Trust’s daughter charity, The Queen's Commonwealth Trust will continue the legacy of the Trust’s work going forward. Throughout the week Her Majesty has held several Audiences including the weekly meeting with the Prime Minister. The Queen also received in Audience the Ambassador from the Republic of Liberia, Her Excellency Mrs. Gurly Gibson, His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Abdalla Idris Mohamed, Ambassador from the Republic of Sudan and His Excellency the Right Reverend David Vunagi upon his appointment as Governor-General of Solomon Islands. Watch our Royal Round-up of The Queen’s week to find out more 📹⬆️

A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) on

“The Queen has always said, ‘Never wear private grief on a public sleeve.’ She is very much duty first because she’s looking at the institution of monarchy, not the individual players,” royal commenter Victoria Arbiter told Entertainment Tonight. “While I do think she will be sympathetic to what Harry and Megan are going through, I think she would like to offer support from behind the scenes, without airing too much for public appetite.”

Source: Read Full Article

Olympic Runner Shalane Flanagan, 38, Announces Her Retirement: 'It's Been an Incredible Ride'

After a historic career, professional runner Shalane Flanagan has announced her retirement from the sport and will transition her skills to coaching.

On Monday, the 38-year-old athlete shared the news with a sentimental Instagram post giving thanks to those who helped her throughout her 15-year career and explaining her next move.

“With happy tears I announce today that I am retiring from professional running. From 2004 to 2019 I’ve given everything that’s within me to this sport and wow it’s been an incredible ride!” she wrote alongside a photo of herself before she competed in the 2018 New York Marathon, in which she finished third.

“I’ve broken bones, torn tendons, and lost too many toenails to count. I’ve experienced otherworldly highs and abysmal lows. I’ve loved (and learned from) it all. Over the last 15 years I found out what I was capable of, and it was more than I ever dreamed possible. Now that all is said and done, I am most proud of the consistently high level of running I produced year after year,” she continued.

“No matter what I accomplished the year before, it never got any easier. Each season, each race was hard, so hard. But this I know to be true: hard things are wonderful, beautiful, and give meaning to life,” Flanagan said.

In 2017, Flanagan became the first American woman in 40 years to win the New York City Marathon. She crossed the finish line in tears, with a very visible “f— yeah!” before running over to hug family and friends after the historic accomplishment.

The athlete posted a time of 2 hours, 26 minutes, 53 seconds, beating out Kenyan Mary Keitany — who had won the race the past three years and set a world record in April by about a minute — according to ESPN.

“I felt that magnitude and that importance,” she told PEOPLE after winning the marathon.

Now that the professional runner will no longer be competing, she is turning her attention toward helping others.

“I have felt my North Star shifting, my passion and purpose is no longer about MY running; it’s more and more about those around me. All I’ve ever known, in my approach to anything, is going ALL IN. So I’m carrying this to coaching,” she explained her post.

“I want to be consumed with serving others the way I have been consumed with being the best athlete I can be,” the runner shared, adding that she is now a professional coach of the Nike Bowerman Track Club in Portland, Oregon where she currently lives.

The runner — a four-time Olympic competitor who took home a silver medal in 2008 — continued her post thanking her numerous coaches, teammates as well as her family and friends for their support and encouragement over the years.

“I hope I made myself a better person by running. I hope I made those around me better. I hope I made my competition better,” she said. “I hope I left the sport better because I was a part of it.”

Flanagan added that she will continue to work with two of her coaches, Jerry Schumacher and Pascal Dobert, in her “next chapter” as they will guide her toward her “goal of becoming a world-class coach.”

And while she admitted that her motto throughout her career has always been to make decisions that leave her “with no regrets,” she shared that she does have one regret left.

“I regret I can’t do it all over again,” Flanagan said.

Source: Read Full Article

7 Creative Last Minute Halloween Costumes

I am the first to admit that I can be a procrastinator, even with things I enjoy — like picking out a Halloween costume. In August, you have all these ideas, but by the end of October, you haven’t even thought about going to the Halloween store. So if you’ve put off your costume selection until the last minute, here are some creative last minute Halloween costume ideas that you can probably pull from your closet of things you already own.

It’s not that I procrastinate Halloween costumes because I don’t have any ideas. In fact, usually the opposite is true. I have too many ideas, and not enough time or money to actually turn them into real costumes. Luckily, you can still put together some awesome and unique Halloween costumes the week, the day, or even the night before Halloween — I promise. The ideas I’ve put together either contain a lot of things you might already own (I think every woman owns at least one pair of flats or a black shirt), or items that can easily be bought on Amazon or at the mall. Ready for your costume to be a hit? Here is everything you need.

1. Basic Witch

This costume is just that — basic. All you need is a witchy black dress, a witch’s hat, your favorite pair of cozy boots, your phone, and, of course, your fave drink. Don’t forget to Snapchat all your spell casting!

2. Ash Ketchum From Pokémon

Costume: I choose you! Get yourself a short-sleeved blue hoodie, a pair of light-wash jeans, some cheap green mittens, Ash Ketchum’s signature hat, as well as a few Pokémon accessories — a Pikachu plush and a Pokéball.

3. Daria Morgendorffer From Daria

In times like these, Daria Morgendorffer from the MTV series Daria is pretty much the best role model any of us can have. Aspire to be more like the iconic (she would hate being called iconic) ’90s misanthropic teen by emulating her look, and pulling out this simple ensemble you probably already own.

4. Regina George From Mean Girls

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by Regina George. You probably can’t, because she’s not a real person, and is instead a character from Mean Girls… but you can dress up as her for Halloween. Take on her most memorable look, which came about as a result of one of Janis Ian’s many attempts to sabotage Regina’s reputation: Janis cut two holes over the chest area of Regina’s tank top in an effort to embarrass her, but only ended up creating a trend when Regina rocked the ruined tank top. Buy a cheap white tank top yourself, cut two holes in it, wear a bright purple t-shirt bra underneath, and rock the look.

5. A Minion From Minions

Beedo, beedo, beedo! To dress up as a minion from Minions, it’s simple: Nab a yellow hoodie, overalls, some black tights, and you’re good to go.

6. Clark Kent From Superman

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s your Halloween costume! Obviously, you’ll need a Superman shirt, but the only other components will be a white button-down and slacks.

7. Party Animal

Get it? Party like it’s 1999 with a leopard print dress, cat ears headband, heels, and a party hat to complete the punny look.

This article was originally published on

Source: Read Full Article

The Arcs Festival Taps Isabelle Huppert to Head The Talent Village For Young Helmers

Guillaume Nicloux, the French director of “Valley of Love,” is set to preside over the jury of the Arcs Film Festival, while the iconic French actress Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”) will be the patron of the second edition of the Talent Village.

Created last year, the Talent Village is a development workshop and platform for emerging talents aimed at helping them make their feature debut. Huppert will succeed to Danish director Thomas Vinterberg (“The Hunt”) who was the patron of the inaugural edition.

The festival, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, will also launch the Cinema Green Lab. Along the lines of its workshop program and award for women filmmakers, the Arcs festival will be hosting screenings of environment-themed movies, workshops discussing eco-friendly initiatives in the film industry, as well as panel discussions about ways to tackle these topics in fiction.

The Arcs fest will also hand out an award to a film figure who’s been dedicated to the protection of the environment, or to a movie which raises awareness.

The Arcs Film Festival has been championing social issues for years. It created in 2013 the prize Femme de Cinema in partnership with Sisley, and later launched a workshop for women filmmakers.

Spearheaded by Frederic Boyer, the Arcs competition lineup will include 10 European films which will be unveiled on Nov. 4. The festival’s industry village, meanwhile, will bring together 1000 participants for the co-production village and the work-in-progress pitching events.

The fest and its industry sidebar will this year turn the spotlight on Finland and the Baltics with a dedicated program including 12 feature films and 8 shorts, as well as a selection of local projects and talent set to attend.

The Arcs Film Festival’s industry village has been a key venue for many talented directors, notably László Nemes with “Son of Saul,” which went on to win Cannes’ Grand Jury Prize and a foreign-language Oscar, as well as Alice Rohrwacher (“The Wonders”), Lukas Dhont (“Girl”), Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt (“Diamantino”) and Nora Fingscheidt (“System Crasher”).

Popular on Variety

Source: Read Full Article

‘Last Days in Vietnam’s’ Rory Kennedy to Direct AR Content’s Refugee Documentary (EXCLUSIVE)

Alexander Rodnyansky’s AR Content – in partnership with Kevin Macdonald, an Oscar winner with “One Day in September,” and Rosanne Korenberg – has tapped Academy Award nominated and Emmy winning director Rory Kennedy, best known for “Last Days in Vietnam,” to direct its untitled documentary centering on a little-known refugee crisis immediately preceding World War II.

The film will center on the voyage of transatlantic liner St. Louis in 1939 – carrying Jews fleeing Nazi Germany – which was turned away by Cuba and the U.S., and was forced to return to Europe; 254 of its passengers died in the Holocaust. The film will compare that episode with today’s global refugee crisis. Alongside Rodnyansky – who was Oscar nominated for “Leviathan” and “Loveless” – Macdonald and Korenberg, Kennedy and the documentary’s writer Mark Bailey – a WGA nominee for “Last Days in Vietnam,” and a three-time Emmy nominee – will produce the film under their production banner Moxie Films.

Rodnyansky first announced the doc late last year when AR Content partnered with producers Macdonald and Korenberg to help bring the story to light. It was, in part, the international community’s unwillingness to accept Jewish refugees that emboldened Hitler to enact his “Final Solution.” After the atrocities of the Holocaust, several measures were put in place to protect those escaping persecution. “Despite this, history seems to be repeating itself, with current vulnerable groups fleeing war-torn regions only to find a hostile, indifferent, and xenophobic Western world,” according to a statement from AR Content.

Kennedy’s documentary feature “Last Days in Vietnam” (2014), which told the story of the Vietnam War’s final weeks, was Oscar nominated for best documentary feature. Kennedy won the Emmy for Outstanding Nonfiction Special with her film “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib” (2007), which chronicled the American abuse of detainees in Abu Ghraib prison in 2003. Bailey co-wrote both features, and has begun writing the currently untitled refugee doc.

“Ten years ago I made ‘The Fence,’ a film about the wall going up along the U.S.-Mexico border,” said Kennedy. “Since then I have watched in dismay as anti-immigrant and anti-refugee rhetoric has accelerated, while resettlement quotas have been slashed and barriers have risen up across the globe. Every day the refugee crisis grows more dire — I am thrilled to have the opportunity to make what I feel is a very important and timely film.”

Macdonald and Korenberg have been leading a director search since the project’s announcement. “With the talented team of Rory and Mark on board, we will be able to explore and empathize as well as show possible solutions to the ever growing number of refugees worldwide,” said Korenberg.

“Of course I knew Rory’s films and reputation as a director,” said Rodnyansky, “but when we sat down to discuss her vision, I was sure that Rory and Mark were the right team. Like my own initial ideas about the film, they wanted to craft something very opinionated and sharp, something that would hold the Western world accountable for its inaction and ask the important questions about how best to move forward. Refugees and mass migration will continue to be one of the 21st century’s most defining developments, and how we respond will be important, and remembered. It’s time to ask ourselves some tough questions.”

AR Content is a Los Angeles based script development company. The firm’s nascent slate of in-development projects includes “Debriefing The President,” based on the book of the same name about the first CIA agent to identify and interrogate Saddam Hussein, to be directed by Ziad Doueiri (“The Insult,” “The Attack”), currently being written by Daniel Stiepleman (“On the Basis of Sex”). AR Content’s TV projects include the Kornel Mundruczo series “Everybody’s Woman,” about the evolution of the European porn industry at the dawn of social media, a political assassination anthology series, as well as a to-be-announced drama series about animal poaching.

Popular on Variety

Source: Read Full Article

What it’s like to be the youngest woman in the UK ever diagnosed with premature menopause

We spoke to Maisie, 25, who told us what it’s been like dealing with premature menopause from the age of 15. 

When you’re 25 years old, the menopause can feel like a long way away. After all, the average age that a woman stops menstruating is between 45 and 55, meaning that most of us don’t have to worry about symptoms such as hot flushes or mood swings until then.

Unfortunately, though, this wasn’t the case for Maisie, who was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure when she was 15 – almost a decade ago. In fact, Maisie is actually the youngest person ever to be recognised with the condition in the UK.

“I remember one time at winter and I was doing snow angels in my skirt and shirt, and everyone else is walking up and down the hill with scarfs and hats on. I thought I was literally losing the plot. Turned out to be hot flushes,” she says to stylist.co.uk

“My ovaries have basically failed. I’ve been through the menopause, and I continue to go through the menopause.”

The side effects are incredibly difficult. Maisie continues to detail how both her physical and emotional health are impacted, so much so she finds it difficult to get out of bed some mornings. 

She says: “It’s difficult to function. It’s an Olympic championship for me to get out of bed most days. Hot flushes. Irritability. You’ll feel detached from yourself. Like you’re a third person observing yourself. You’ll feel dizzy. It feels like I have bugs on me at all times. No matter if I want to just be happy, my chemical balance is saying no.”

Remaining positive is something Maisie has struggled with previously, and she continues to deal with the impact her condition has on her emotional wellbeing. “I went through a massive –well, I don’t think I’m truly out of it, but I am a lot better than I was – depressive part of my life from the age of 16 onwards. I know for a fact I can’t have children. This was the gut punch. I’m mourning something I never had, but I’ve always wanted. So it does hit me pretty hard sometimes.”

But, while she feels that a taboo still lingers around the menopause, Maisie says that there are some brilliant support groups that women can look to.

“Every woman at some point in their life will enter this stage. I’ve just entered it a little bit earlier. The support group is amazing, it’s called Daisy. So when I did finally get into that it was brilliant, there’s like-minded women on there. There’s a lot of advice. You can understand each other without having to explain yourself,” she says.

“We can’t have a talk about women’s reproductive systems. It’s a bit of a taboo still, but it should definitely be a discussion we have. You know, it’s half of the world. Conversation needs to start.”

Watch the full video above. 

Images: Stylist 

Source: Read Full Article