Who doesn’t love movies? The personalities of the characters, the complexities of a story line and the magic of the special effects, all taking place in front of your eyes on the big or small screen. At Dell, we support movie making of all kinds, from major blockbusters to independent films, and enabling filmmakers to bring great stories to life.We’re particularly passionate about supporting the independent film community, especially those in our own backyard in Austin.“Independent filmmaking is tough, but raising money for indie filmmaking is even tougher,” Austin Chronicle writer Richard Whittaker points out.So to help them tell the stories that would not be told otherwise, we’ve partnered with the Austin Film Society (AFS), a non-profit that empowers our community to make, watch and love film and creative media, to introduce the first-ever AFS Powered by Dell Grant. The AFS grant program was founded based on the lack of funding available for emerging artists in Texas. The Powered by Dell Grant awards funding and technology to independent filmmakers in Austin.In addition to funding, two of the Powered by Dell Grant recipients will receive a portfolio of Dell Precision workstations, Dell UltraSharp monitors and Adobe Creative Cloud suites, which will provide them the power and performance of technology used by some of today’s leading filmmakers and movie studios. In fact, four out of the five latest Academy Awards in visual effects were developed on our Precision platform.On September 1, AFS announced the recipients of the AFS Powered by Dell Grant which include:Ben and Bo Powell for the in-progress feature documentary, “Rosedale.” (pictured above) Ben Powell is a producer, director and editor whose debut documentary feature, “Barge,” premiered at SXSW and won the Grand Jury Prize at the Dallas International Film Festival. “Rosedale” is a feature documentary about the people of Rosedale, Mississippi, a tough old river town in the Mississippi Delta considered ‘the South’s South,’ where the scars of slavery and segregation run deep.Director Paul Gordon for the narrative feature in development, “Wolves.” The dramatic comedy “Wolves” brings together Ashley, a young idealistic woman, with a couple of performance artist, chefs that are homeless. Paul Gordon recently wrote, directed, edited and played lead actor in “The Happy Poet,” which screened at festivals around the world, including Venice Film Festival, South by Southwest (SxSW), and Tokyo International Film Festival, and won both audience and jury awards.An additional AFS Powered by Dell cash grant has been awarded to Deborah Esquenazi for her feature documentary, “Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four,” which has already received support from the Sundance Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures and had a presence at SxSW. The film profiles the persecution and abuse of four Latina lesbian women, wrongfully convicted of a crime.The AFS Grant is a continuation of Dell’s ongoing support for the independent filmmakers at Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Napa Valley Film Festival and many more. We look forward to empowering this community of talented artists and filmmakers in Austin, and providing them with the great technology of Dell Precision Workstations. Stay tuned for more about the recipients and their projects.And to learn more about how creative projects come to life with the help of the Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation and Adobe Premier Pro, watch this video: </p><p>Image Credits: Dell (top) and Ben and Bo Powell (middle)
Under representation of women in business today is a missed opportunity – not just from a moral standpoint but also from an economic one. Statistics show us that women represent the largest market opportunity, controlling $20 trillion in annual spending. Twelve trillion could be added to the global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality and it is a known fact that when women earn an income they reinvest 90 percent of that income back into their families and communities.So why do most women entrepreneurs still lack access to the resources – capital, networks, talent and technology – needed to take their businesses to the next level? Dell has been investing in research to better understand the obstacles women face in growing their business.Our WE Cities research assess and compares 50 cities around the world on their ability to foster high-potential women entrepreneurs. Sydney ranked 11th out of 50 cities and does particularly well on policies that can help impact a supportive culture for women entrepreneurs, but ranked lower in the areas of access to technology, capital and markets. Adding to this research, at the annual Dell Women Entrepreneurship (DWEN) Summit in July, Dell released the WE Cities city blueprints, which spotlight public policy actions a city can take to improve the local ecosystem for women entrepreneurs.We’re turning analysis into action by leveraging this research in local markets to improve the ecosystem for women entrepreneurs. Since July, we have taken this research on the road, with events in Boston, Mexico City and Sao Paulo and earlier this week Sara Calder, Senior Manager, ANZ Consumer & Small Business at Dell and I hosted a Dell PolicyHack during the Spark Festival in Sydney.The PolicyHack brought together entrepreneurs, policymakers and other stakeholders to hack policy solutions to some of the challenges of women entrepreneurs in Sydney and the event was a great success. Working together on small teams, these entrepreneurs and policymakers had 75 minutes to develop a policy solution around the recommendations in the WE Cities Sydney blueprint.The teams then had five minutes to pitch their public policy solution to a panel of judges which included: Ben Jackson, General Manager, ANZ Consumer and Small Business; Roz Gregory, Director, Customer Success and Digital Transformation APJ, Pivotal Labs; Susie Gemmell, Sydney School of Entrepreneurship; Wendy Simpson, entrepreneur and business leader; and myself.It was a privilege to be a judge with these esteemed individuals and I was extremely impressed with each team and their recommendations. Determining a winner was not an easy task!After much debate we made a tough decision and our winners were “The Capitalists,” a group comprising Jacqui Walshe, Mariam Modhammed and Andrew Asfaganov. They were tasked with thinking about how the public and private sector could promote better access to capital and their solution proposed an anonymised pitching process for venture capitalists that aimed to remove unconscious bias for women seeking funding. This process would be incentivised for businesses and work to prevent gender bias against female entrepreneurs. This team now has the commitment from Dell to work with Sydney policymakers to make this great solution a reality.I am proud of Dell’s commitment to women and the ways we are investing in our own culture and our communities to advocate for women. The research continues to show that when you support women there are far-reaching benefits to our global community and the global economy so our team looks forward to continuing to work with policymakers to improve the ecosystem for women entrepreneurs.
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The Somali police say that at least five people have been killed in the attack on a Mogadishu hotel by Somalia’s al-Shabab rebels that was ended early Monday by the police force. Somali police spokesman Sadiq Adan Ali said the siege of the Afrik hotel ended after more than eight hours and all four rebel attackers were killed. He said the rebels exploded hand grenades and rocket-propelled grenades in their attempt to repulse the police forces who were closing-in on them. Health authorities said that in addition to those killed, 15 people were injured and have been hospitalized.
LONDON (AP) — Protesters have blocked the entrance of an Israeli-owned factory in England where they claim deadly arms are made. Activists from Palestine Action and Extinction Rebellion chained the gates of the Elbit Ferranti factory in Greater Manchester early Monday. Two protesters climbed onto a ledge in front of the building, daubing red paint over the windows and spraying the words “Shut Elbit Down.” The two groups said their joint action was meant to show Elbit, Israel’s largest arms firm, that they will “continue to take direct action until we shut Elbit down and end all complicity in systematic injustice.” Greater Manchester Police said officers attended the scene. Elbit Systems UK declined to comment.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Amazon has announced that it will invest $200 million in eastern Tennessee to build a new warehouse distribution site that will result in 800 jobs. Gov. Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe praised the Alcoa-based project during a Wednesday virtual event with Amazon officials. The facility is expected to be completed in 2022. It will be Amazon’s third fulfillment center to use robotics technology in Tennessee and the company’s eighth fulfillment center in the Volunteer State. Separately, Amazon is also building an operations hub in Nashville that is expected to create 5,000 jobs in the area.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia moves another step closer to ending capital punishment as state House votes to abolish death penalty.