Brad Pitt is financially backing an eco-friendly design competition to rebuild the areas of New Orleans that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina last year.
The screen star is collaborating with environmental organization Global Green USA for the project, and he will lead a panel of experts to pick the design that he hopes will whip New Orleans back to its former glory.
He says, "Our goal is to kick off the rebuilding effort. It's certainly long overdue and I can only go from the reports that we get that it's behind, absolutely. People are frustrated.
"We could possibly build something that was better and took into account the historical traditions of the city and the voices of the people and turn this into some kind of good."
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The cast and filmmakers behind the upcoming Roll Bounce are doing their part to help with the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
They have announced that when the film is released this weekend, they will donate 10 percent of its proceeds to the Operation USA for Hurricane Katrina disaster relief.
In a partnership with DirecTV, Roll Bounce will also be screened for thousands of people at more than 80 shelters across the Gulf Coast region the night before its theatrical release.
In addition, DirecTV has launched a 24/7 "Hurricane Katrina Information" channel. The channel displays vital information regarding the Katrina relief and recovery efforts to evacuees in shelters (where DirecTV has installed services) and to customers nationwide.
Viewers can now have a personal message scroll across the bottom of the screen in hopes of contacting friends and family separated by the storm. All they need to do is send an e-mail to Katrina@directv.com.
As for Roll Bounce, director Malcom D. Lee (Undercover Brother) and producers Robert Teitel and George Tillman, Jr. (Barbershop) stated in a press release: "We are so proud that the love, laughter and creative force that was poured into making this heart-warming family film will be channeled toward the support of those families in need."
The film's star, Bow Wow, said: "Tragedy can strike any of us at any time. We are honored that Roll Bounce can help to support our communities at such a crucial time."
Roll Bounce is a late '70s-inspired coming-of-age comedy featuring an all-star cast led by Bow Wow, Chi McBride, Mike Epps, Wesley Jonathan, Kellita Smith, Meagan Good, Khleo Thomas and Nick Cannon.
Brace yourself Dr. Laura. This clueless teen queen (Natasha Lyonne) has it all: good looks a football captain boyfriend and a popular pair of pom-poms. But her candy-colored world crumbles when her panicked parents stage an intervention after finding a Melissa Etheridge poster that leads them to conclude she's a friend of Ellen. After being carted off to an anti-gay rehab camp for teens the perky princess must choose between the straight and narrow-minded or the love that dare not speak its name.
The quirky ensemble casting is half this film's fun. Lyonne is charming as the pepster tempted by T&A and she sparks onscreen with swanky and sexy co-star Clea DuVall who plays the butch femme fatale suitor (alarmingly reminiscent of Nancy McKeon's Jo from "The Facts of Life.") Drag queen supreme RuPaul is unrecognizable out of his high heels and even higher blond wig wearing a "Straight is Great" T-shirt as a macho militant ex-gay counselor. Cathy Moriaty is sweetly sinister as the homophobic headmistress and Mink Stole steals scenes as the uptight upright meddling mom.
Kudos to Jamie Babbit for tackling this hot-potato topic but this well-intentioned film too often misses its mark turning potentially comical scenes into unbearably awkward moments. Babbit fouls when tugging at the heartstrings but hits home runs when the humor is at its broadest.