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Film examining racism from Beyonce collaborator Melina Matsoukas to open AFI Fest

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A racism-themed romantic drama from longtime Beyonce collaborator Melina Matsoukas will kick off the American Film Institute’s annual festival in Los Angeles this year, the body announced Tuesday.

The world premiere of “Queen & Slim” at the 33rd AFI Fest tells the story of a young black couple on an awkward first date who are pulled over for a minor traffic violation.

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After the situation escalates and they kill the police officer in self-defense, the pair are forced to go on the run together.

Director Matsoukas has overseen a dozen Beyonce music videos including the provocative Grammy-winning “Formation,” and was honored by the pop superstar at the AFI’s lifetime achievement gala event in June.

“She is holding up a mirror for people who look like you and me to see ourselves, saying, ‘You are beautiful, and your stories matter’,” Beyonce said of her “sister” Matsoukas.

The film also stars Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”) and Chloe Sevigny (“Boys Don’t Cry”) and is written by Lena Waithe (“Master of None”.)

AFI Festivals director Michael Lumpkin said the movie “speaks, better than any film this year, to the effects of racism and violence in our country today.”

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The AFI Fest begins November 14 in Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre.


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Louisiana Democrat re-elected governor — despite Trump’s rallies for the Republican candidate

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The Associated Press has called the Lousiana's governor's race for incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards.

Edwards triumphed over Republican businessman Eddie Rispone, who called to concede.

The outcome is another major political loss for President Donald Trump, who had held multiple campaign rallies for Rispone.

During his most recent rally, Trump begged the crowd to give him a "big win" in the election.

Eddie Rispone has conceded the #lagov race to Gov. John Bel Edwards, giving the Democrat four more years in ruby red Louisiana despite Trump’s best efforts to flip the seat. Edwards camp says Rispone called minutes ago to concede. #lagov #lalege

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Press secretary says it is ‘dangerous for the country’ to question whether she is putting out honest info

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Press secretary Stephanie Grisham on Saturday argued it was "dangerous for the country" for anyone to challenge the veracity of her claims.

Grisham made her argument after President Donald Trump went to Walter Reed Hospital for an unannounced doctor's visit, resulting in a great deal of speculation.

Following the visit, Grisham claimed Trump was "healthy" and "without complaints" -- a claim many found unlikely as the president has spent a good deal of time as president airing his many grievances.

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Sondland used WhatsApp to communicate with Ukraine — and won’t turn over the messages: report

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Ambassador Gordon Sondland used WhatsApp to send encrypted messages to a top Ukranian official, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

The communication occurred with Andriy Yermak, a top aide to President Volodymr Zelensky, when Sondland was in Kyiv, the newspaper reported.

"Sondland was also texting back and forth on WhatsApp with Yermak throughout the trip, and had been communicating with other Ukrainian officials over the messaging app in the preceding and subsequent months, according to people familiar with his interactions," The Post reported.

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