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The mysterious killing of indie actress Adrienne Shelly: How a suicide turned into a murder | Culture

On Halloween night in 2006, Adrienne Shelly – one of the most recognizable faces of 1990s independent cinema – was throwing a party for her three-year-old daughter. Shelly was happy and nervous: she was waiting for confirmation that her latest film Waitress, which she wrote, starred in and directed, had been selected for the Sundance Film Festival – an invitation that would take her to the next level as a director.

A few hours after the party, her husband, Andy Ostroy, found her hanging from a sheet in the bathroom of her small office in New York’s West Village, where she would go to work. The media quickly jumped on the news. The New York Post reported: “Indie film star ‘suicide’ stunner – hubby finds gal, 40, hanged in Village apt.” Police also suggested suicide: when Ostroy called them to ask how the investigation was going, he was told that no one was working on the case.

But Ostroy was convinced that Shelly hadn’t taken her life – she had a daughter she loved and was on the brink of fulfilling her dream. “She was the happiest I’d ever seen her,” he says in Adrienne, a new documentary by HBO Max, which he has directed and produced so that no one, least of all their daughter, forgets her. Through a mix of family recordings, interviews with friends like actor Paul Rudd and simple animations, Ostroy provides an intimate portrait of who Adrienne Shelly was, what really happened the day of her death and how the tragedy affected the family. Above all, it is a devastating statement about how life can change in a single moment.

Ostroy’s insistence that Shelly had not taken her life paid off. A few days later, police called him to show him the knot his wife had allegedly made to hang herself. Did she know how to tie a knot like that? Of course not. Nor did he know anybody who had the same Reebok sneakers that left a footprint in the bathroom. A forensic doctor was hired to perform an autopsy, which revealed that Shelly had been strangled. What’s more, she had “fought like a lion” – she hadn’t given up on life.

Shelly always had a clear idea of what she wanted to do in life. She studied acting and producing, then moved to Manhattan to live out her dream of working in show business. She sent her photos off to all the auditions announced in magazines, and one of these photos landed in the hands of director Hal Hartley, who gave her the leading role in his first film, The Unbelievable Truth (1989). Movie critic Roger Ebert described it as a “movie for film buffs,” while the distribution company Miramax, co-founded by convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein, offered to buy the rights if more nude scenes of Shelly were included. Hartley refused, but the experience had given Shelly a taste of what the film industry expected of her.

The front page of ‘Daily News’ on November 7, 2006.
The front page of ‘Daily News’ on November 7, 2006.New York Daily News (NY Daily News via Getty Images)

Her next film with Hartley, Trust (1990), was also well received by critics. It was tipped as a favorite in the Sundance Film Festival, and received the award for best script. The festival also turned Shelly into a muse of independent cinema. Critic Kent Jones described her as “the first performer in movies to suggest a truly suburban intelligence,” and Screen World included her on its 1990 list of most promising actors, alongside Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis.

Hollywood wanted her. But what she found there was disappointing. In the 2002 documentary Searching for Debra Winger, which looks at the pressures faced by female actors, Shelly tells director Rosanna Arquette that her agent once told her she had to look “fuckable” in order to land a role. She discovered that actresses in Hollywood were poorly valued, if valued at all, and set out on her own path: making movies. It was a challenge, but the only way to play good characters was for her to write them herself.

Her first films as a director were met with mixed reviews, but Shelly was confident that Waitress would mark her place in the film industry. The movie, which she wrote when she was eight months pregnant, is about a woman who is abused by her husband, and who, after falling pregnant, falls in love with her gynecologist. Actress Keri Russell was picked for the lead, while Shelly played a supporting role. From the first reading, there was a sense that the movie was going to be important.

The invitation from the Sundance Film Festival to showcase Waitress arrived on the same day that the police arrested Shelly’s killer: Diego Pilco, an undocumented 19-year-old Ecuadorian who had been doing construction work in the building. According to his first confession, Shelly had complained about the noise, and fearing that she would call the police and he would be deported, he pushed her and she fell against a table. Believing her to be dead, he tried to cover up the crime as a suicide. This version, however, was debunked at trial. The truth was that he had entered her apartment to steal from her and when she found him rummaging through her bag, he strangled her and hung her in the bathroom.

Pilco confessed it himself to Ostroy in 2019, when the widower visited him in prison “to humanize Adrienne for him, so that rather than have a lasting image in his head of this panicked woman calling out for the police, he sees a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister. That he understood all the moments in the last 14 years that Adrienne missed, that Sophie missed, that I missed, that everyone missed,” Ostroy explained to The Guardian in December.

Adrienne Shelly in a scene from ‘The Unbelievable Truth.’
Adrienne Shelly in a scene from ‘The Unbelievable Truth.’IFA Film (United Archives / Cordon Press)

When Waitress screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Shelly was not alive to see it. But her family and friends gathered there and turned the event into a loving farewell. Waitress would be Shelly’s most successful film. It made $25 million at the box office, and was even turned into a Broadway musical with an all-female cast.

The shocking news of her death also prompted spontaneous waves of donations, which Ostroy has put towards what Shelly would have wanted. “It became very clear that the mission should be to help people like her – struggling artists, women who didn’t get a fair shake in many ways and needed help,” he told journalist Soraya Roberts. Since then, the Adrienne Shelly Foundation has been giving out grants to female filmmakers. One of these grants was received by Chloé Zhao, who a decade on became the second woman to win an Oscar for Best Director with Nomadland. It is legacy that Adrienne Shelly would be proud of.

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Choco: Revolutionizing The FoodTech Industry With Innovation & Sustainability | EU20

By Clint Bailey

— In the rapidly evolving world of food technology, European startup Choco has emerged as a pioneering force. With its website,, this Berlin-based company is transforming the way food industry professionals operate by leveraging innovative digital solutions. By linking restaurants, distributors, suppliers, and producers on a single platform, Choco is streamlining the supply chain process while promoting sustainability.

Let’s explore the journey of and its impact on the overall foodtech industry.

  1. Company: Choco Technologies GmbH
  2. Website:
  3. Head Office: Berlin, Germany
  4. Year Established: 2018
  5. Founders: Choco was co-founded by Daniel Khachab, Julian Hammer, and Rogerio da Silva.
  6. Industry: Choco operates in the foodtech industry, specifically focusing on digitizing the supply chain for the food industry.
  7. Funding: Choco has secured significant funding rounds from investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners & Coatue Management.
  8. Market Presence: Choco has a strong presence in several European cities, including Berlin, Paris, London & Barcelona.
  9. Mission: Choco aims to revolutionize the food industry by leveraging technology to simplify supply chain management, promote sustainability, and reduce food waste.

Simplifying Supply Chain Management

One of the core focuses of Choco is to simplify supply chain management for food businesses. Traditionally, the procurement process in the food industry has been cumbersome and inefficient, with numerous intermediaries and manual processes. Choco’s digital platform replaces the traditional paper-based ordering system, allowing restaurants and suppliers to communicate and collaborate seamlessly.

Choco’s platform enables restaurants to place orders directly with suppliers, eliminating the need for phone calls, faxes, or emails. This not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood of errors and miscommunications.

By digitizing the ordering process, Choco improves transparency, making it easier for restaurants to compare prices, track deliveries, and manage inventory efficiently.

Streamlining Operations For Suppliers & Producers

Choco’s impact extends beyond restaurants. The platform also provides suppliers and producers with valuable tools to streamline their operations. By digitizing their product catalogs and integrating them into the Choco platform, suppliers can showcase their offerings to a wide network of potential buyers.

Suppliers benefit from increased visibility, enabling them to reach new customers and expand their market presence. Moreover, Choco’s platform helps suppliers manage their inventory, track orders, and plan deliveries effectively. These features enhance operational efficiency, reduce waste, and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable food system.
YouTube Channel

Promoting Sustainability & Reducing Food Waste

Choco recognizes the critical importance of sustainability in the food industry. According to the United Nations, approximately one-third of the world’s food production goes to waste each year. By digitizing the supply chain and enabling more efficient ordering and inventory management, Choco actively works to combat this issue.

Air France – Deals & Destinations

Choco’s platform facilitates data-driven decision-making for restaurants, suppliers, and producers. By analyzing purchasing patterns & demand, Choco helps businesses optimize their inventory levels, reducing overstocking and minimizing food waste. Additionally, Choco supports local sourcing, enabling businesses to connect with nearby suppliers & promote sustainable, community-based practices.

Expanding Reach & Impact

Since its founding in 2018, Choco has experienced rapid growth and expansion. The startup has successfully secured significant funding rounds, allowing it to scale its operations and establish a strong presence across Europe and other global markets. Today, Choco’s platform is used by thousands of restaurants and suppliers, revolutionizing the way they operate.

Choco’s impact extends beyond operational efficiency or sustainability. By connecting restaurants, suppliers & producers on a single platform, Choco fosters collaboration & encourages the exchange of ideas. This collaborative approach strengthens the overall foodtech ecosystem and creates a supportive community of like-minded aiming to drive positive change within the industry.

Future Of FoodTech

Choco’s rise to prominence in the foodtech industry exemplifies the reach of sustainability, innovation, and community. Through its user-friendly platform, Choco simplifies supply chain management, streamlines operations for restaurants & suppliers, and actively promotes sustainable practices. By harnessing the potential of digital, Choco is disrupting the future of the food industry, making it more efficient and transparent.

As Choco continues to expand its impact and reach, its transformative influence on the foodtech sector is set to inspiring, grow other startups, and established players to embrace technology for a better and more sustainable food system.

We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!

— Compiled by Clint Bailey | Team ‘Voice of EU’
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The Hat Worn By Napoleon Bonaparte Sold For $2.1 Million At The Auction

A faded felt bicorne hat worn by Napoleon Bonaparte sold for $2.1 million at an auction on of the French emperor’s belongings.

Yes, that’s $2.1 million!!

The signature broad, black hat, one of a handful still in existence that Napoleon wore when he ruled 19th-century France and waged war in Europe, was initially valued at 600,000 to 800,000 euros ($650,000-870,000). It was the centerpiece of Sunday’s auction collected by a French industrialist who died last year.

The Hat Worn By Napoleon Bonaparte Sold For $2.1 Million At The Auction

But the bidding quickly jumped higher and higher until Jean Pierre Osenat, president of the Osenat auction house, designated the winner.

‘’We are at 1.5 million (Euros) for Napoleon’s hat … for this major symbol of the Napoleonic epoch,” he said, as applause rang out in the auction hall. The buyer, whose identity was not released, must pay 28.8% in commissions according to Osenat, bringing the overall cost to 1.9 million euros ($2.1 million).

While other officers customarily wore their bicorne hats with the wings facing front to back, Napoleon wore his with the ends pointing toward his shoulders. The style, known as “en bataille,” or in battle, made it easier for his troops to spot their leader in combat.

The hat on sale was first recovered by Col. Pierre Baillon, a quartermaster under Napoleon, according to the auctioneers. The hat then passed through many hands before industrialist Jean-Louis Noisiez acquired it.

The entrepreneur spent more than a half-century assembling his collection of Napoleonic memorabilia, firearms, swords and coins before his death in 2022.

The sale came days before the release of Ridley Scott’s film Napoleon with Joaquin Phoenix, which is rekindling interest in the controversial French ruler.

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The Call for AI Regulation in Creative Industries

THE VOICE OF EU | Widespread concerns have surged among artists and creatives in various domains – country singers, authors, television showrunners, and musicians – voicing apprehension about the disruptive impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on their professions.

These worries have prompted an urgent plea to the U.S. government for regulatory action to protect their livelihoods from the encroaching threat posed by AI technology.

The Artists’ Plea

A notable rise in appeals to regulate AI has emerged, drawing attention to the potential risks AI poses to creative industries.

Thousands of letters, including those from renowned personalities like Justine Bateman and Lilla Zuckerman, underscore the peril AI models represent to the traditional structure of entertainment businesses.

The alarm extends to the music industry, expressed by acclaimed songwriter Marc Beeson, highlighting AI’s potential to both enhance and jeopardize an essential facet of American artistry.

The Call for AI Regulation in Creative Industries

Copyright Infringement Concerns

The primary contention arises from the unsanctioned use of copyrighted human works as fodder to train AI systems. The concerns about AI ingesting content from the internet without permission or compensation have sparked significant distress among artists and their representative entities.

While copyright laws explicitly protect works of human authorship, the influx of AI-generated content questions the boundaries of human contribution and authorship in an AI-influenced creative process.

The Fair Use Debate

Leading technology entities like Google, Microsoft, and Meta Platforms argue that their utilization of copyrighted materials in AI training aligns with the “fair use” doctrine—a limited use of copyrighted material for transformative purposes.

They claim that AI training isn’t aimed at reproducing individual works but rather discerning patterns across a vast corpus of content, citing precedents like Google’s legal victories in the digitization of books.

The Conflict and Seeking Resolution

Despite court rulings favoring tech companies in interpreting copyright laws regarding AI, voices like Heidi Bond, a former law professor and author, critique this comparison, emphasizing that AI developers often obtain content through unauthorized means.

Shira Perlmutter, the U.S. Register of Copyrights, acknowledges the Copyright Office’s pivotal role in navigating this complex landscape and determining the legitimacy of the fair use defense in the AI context.

The Road Ahead

The outpouring of concern from creative professionals and industry stakeholders emphasizes the urgency for regulatory frameworks to safeguard creative works while acknowledging the evolving role of AI in content creation.

The Copyright Office’s meticulous review of over 9,700 public comments seeks to strike a balance between innovation and the protection of creative rights in an AI-driven era. As the discussion continues, the convergence of legal precedents and ethical considerations remains a focal point for shaping the future landscape of AI in creative industries.

Thank You For Your Support!

— By Darren Wilson, Team

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