You Never Know When Your Number’s Up!

 

MegaBall$ / Oroloro News

April 29, 2019 —   We are preparing to hold a reading of the screenplay for investors and industry people (aka Backer’s Reading) in about a month. Currently we are working out the logistics such as the location, date, cast and arrangements for refreshments. The evening will not come cheap. The expenses will include rental of a space in mid-town Manhattan, stipends for the cast, script copies, programs and one-sheets, and refreshments. But, thanks to the generous support of the names alphabetically listed below, we’ve offset the expenses with donations from:

Maya Avisar, John Batteiger, Andrew Bauer, Sandra Benee, Ellen Berry, Gary Buglass, Peggy Chane, John Cito, Tandy Cronyn, Nancy Damrow, Joanne Dorian, Wayne Keeley, Catherine Kelly, Sara Krieger, Kirk Larsen, Frank Mancuso, Billy Mann, Santo Marabella, Leslie Middlebrook. Dylan Page, Denise Pence, Hardy Phippen, Richard James Porter, Kimberly Prentice, Denise & Mike Reiss, Davida Rothberg, Camille & Ron Savitz, Giacomo Selloni, leslie Shreve, Susanne Stout, Jake Sussman, Susannah Talley, Carol Vigoda and Rick Zahn.

We’re hugely grateful for their encouragement and support!

We will be doing two readings in one day. First, in the afternoon, a rehearsal where friends and supporters will be welcomed, then in the evening for an invited audience of [hopefully] potential investors and industry people, such as producers, sales reps, distributors, et. al.

Wish us luck!

What’s in a name?

When we first considered a title for our film, we played with the titles of the two major lotto games – MegaMillions and Powerball. The result was perfect – it clearly stated it was a comedy: MegaBall$. The name caught on. Wherever we’d meet people and told the the title and tag line, they laughed. They got it! And they remembered it. Now Banquet foods, known for their frozen dinners, has a product called Mega Bowls. How perfect is that?! Who knows, maybe we can get some product placement deal from Banquet by working the product into a scene (and I’ve got the perfect spot marked in my script notes. Here’s their ad:

Los Angeles – April 23, 2017; MegaBall$ makes movement

As a SAG-AFTRA New York Board member [for 10 years]  I occasionally travel to Los Angeles for the business of the union, often with very little notice.  This April I was given advance notice, which allowed me me to try and make personal plans while there.  We stay at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and our meetings are held in the union offices nearby on Wilshire Boulevard.  At about the same as getting the notice, or film lawyer and Co-Executive Producer, Corky Kessler, alerted me about a new film finance company he helped form in Los Angeles which is focusing on films that are Section 181 qualified, sending me a link to the story in Variety.  Sect. 181 is a part of the 2004 JOBS Act that allows investors to deduct their investment in a qualified film from passive income from certain parts of their federal taxes.  Although Sect 181 expired December 31st, 2016, MegaBall$ has been grandfathered in – so accredited investors in our film retain that tax advantage.  By the way – it helps that Corky was also involved in actions that led to the forming of Section 181 and considered an expert on the provision.

Since I had advance notice and could plan ahead, I asked Corky if he could set up a meeting with the company, Streamline Global Group Films, so I may pitch our film.  It turned out Corky was also planning a trip to LA for a lecture he was giving at the New York Film Academy in Burbank.  Thanks to the help of an LA friend I was able to find affordable housing and extended my stay after the SAG-AFTRA Board meeting ended on April 23rd.  During the week I visited with some friends, visited the Venice Canals, even got a last-minute voice over audition. I was also able to meet with our post production advisor, Allan Schollnick, and with Andrei Zinca of Voxx Studios. Voxx handles dubbing and subtitling among other postproduction services.

At the lecture I met the company CEO, Emily Hunter Salveson, who told me about her company and the team she has assembled.  She was aware of our project because Corky had sent her information in advance.  Later that evening Corky had assembled a group of friends and clients for a dinner together where I was able to continue our chat with Emily . At the end of the evening she told me she wants MegaBall$ on their slate. We’re very excited over this development, and eagerly await the paperwork to get started!

A side note: I had mentioned to one of the filmmakers at the table, Scott Corfield, who just released his film, Don’t Tell, with an important topic, that I admired serious films and, while I knew we had a good project, it was essentially fluff. Jim Pasternak, a director, producer and teacher (often hired by studios to teach and guide new directors) who had read my script, corrected me.  He stated that what we have is a smart comedy and will do very well. Nice way to end the evening.

Though we’ll have Streamline on our side, we still need to continue our search for accredited investors who can use advantage of the tax benefit of MegaBall$. But at least now we have two very qualified people and better explain the advantages of our film to potential investors. The 1-2 punch of Sect 181 and NYS tax credit makes MegaBall$ very attractive by dramatically lowering the investor risk.

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Section 181 Grandfathered

The federal film tax incentive known as Section 181 expired December 31st, 2016. The incentive allowed film investors to minimize their risk by deducting their investment against passive income as soon as spending begins (capitalization of the offering).

A bill has been introduced to once again renew but, based on past renewals – and considering how slow Washington moves, and its new administration – we can anticipate many months will pass before the bill comes to a vote; and who knows if it will pass. We can be sure there will be a gap until such time 181 renews where investors cannot deduct their investment as per the incentive.

We at Oroloro Entertainment are happy to report that our comedy feature film MegaBall$ has been grandfathered in, and the tax benefit for investors will not expire. This gives us a very specific advantage over other films not covered by 181, making our project more attractive to prospective investors. Combining the benefits of 181 and state/local incentives, investors can see a substantial reduction in the financial risks of film investment.

For more information on how Sect. 181 can benefit you check with your tax advisor – or, if you wish, send us an email and we will connect you with our lawyer (who was very involved in the drafting of Sect. 181). You may also ‘Google’ “Section 181” to see many legal opinions of the incentive.

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Got MegaBall$?

We’re very excited to welcome Lin Tucci to our MegaBall$ support team. Lin is a 2015 SAG Award winning actress best known as Anita DeMarco, a series regular on the hit Netflix series, Orange is the New Black (OITNB)

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with Lin at SAG-AFTRA

We had the pleasure of first meeting Lin during a SAG-AFTRA event in New York and immediately hit it off, joking and talking about … salami! She is a joy, very funny and endearing.

Lin agreed to read MegaBall$ but warned that it may take some time because she is shooting OITNB, but in a very short time responded, “Bravo, what a great script!…Sooo many things resonate for me….Your characters and storyline are rich in content….Fun and fast!…Your devotion to detail is profoundly admirable”

We agree with Lin, that the role of Rosa and Lin is a perfect fit, “fun, and would be a blast to create.”

Visit Lin’s web site HERE And her IMDB page HERE.

#LinTucci #OITNB #MEGABALLS

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Top-10 Comedy!

We’re very pleased to announce that MegaBall$ was a finalist in the comedy division of the 2016 World Series of Screenwriting. Of many hundreds of entries our comedy made it to the Top 10 Comedy Screenplays….a placement to be proud of!

MegaBall$ was a semi-finalists in the 2015 ScreenCraft Comedy Competition; of 1,260 entire it ranked in the top 10%, and was a quarter-finalist in the 2016 Screencraft competition.

There are so many competitions around the world for screenplays, but few offer subdivisions by genre – something we believe all competitions should offer. After all, how can a comedy compete against a dram against a sci-fi thriller?

We have had very positive comments from other submissions. For example, both Slamdance and the Tribeca Film Institute called the project very commercial and enjoyable. We’re confident that the project will sell – so, off we got after the production funds…and we’ll be attending the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017, promoting and networking….

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corky


Top Notch!

Our new lawyer and co-executive producer, Hal “Corky” Kessler

Corky is considered one of the leading experts on the Federal Film Tax Incentive known as Sect. 181., and has been involved in the development and production of more than sixteen films, with six more in the works (including MegaBall$). We’re very excited about having Corky part of our award-winning production team!

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Sundance!

We’re taking MegaBall$ to Sundance!

After a favorable experience at the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF16), and upon the advice of our film lawyer, we have decided to attend the Sundance Film Festival in January. We believe it is prudent to attend some major festivals before you have a film entered so you may better understand how they work without the pressure of pushing a project being screened.

Our goal for both TIFF and Sundance is to not only gain experience, but to take advantage of any panel discussions AND network…. network …. network.  Attending Sundance will afford us another good opportunity to promote the development of our film, MegaBall$, get new followers on social media and possibly connect more people to the project to move it forward.

Sundance has a reputation for its multiple networking events. Our lawyer not only helped arrange accommodations but has lined up four days’ worth of events and panels. So, off we go! The room has been booked, air travel next. Unlike TIFF, we’ve planned this far enough in advance so we may now reach out to an assortment of industry reps to try to schedule some meet & greets. Our 1-sheet went over really well in TIFF, so we’ll have a good supply on hand for Park City.

If you are planning to attend as well, please connect with us via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (Oroloro), and perhaps we can also meet up!

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One of many theaters used for TIFF screenings. This often hosted red carpet premiers.

We recently attended 5 days of the 2016 Toronto Film Festival and would like to share our experience.

Toronto is a great city: good transportation, very clean and people are friendly. It feels like Manhattan with a European flair. The festival is centered downtown in the Entertainment district and almost everything is in walking distance. For those who cannot find accommodations nearby find one near the underground or trolley lines, which are very efficient.

We were able to put together the travel and hotel with loyalty points keeping the trip very affordable.  We used the new UP Express, a train which connects Pearson Airport to Union Station. $12 Canadian gets you there in 25 relaxing minutes. Our hotel, the Delta, was in walking distance of Union Station and boasted amazing views. We kept our food costs low by having large breakfasts at the hotel (included in our deal), and by taking advantage of the VIP lounge in the evenings, which offered a variety of food and drink (also included).

We attended TIFF to get the experience of a major festival. I’ve heard it said, and found it to be true, that it’s a good idea to attend a major festival BEFORE you have a film entered. It’ll be a great learning experience to see how the festival runs, and how the industry works within the fest. Our new lawyer, Corky Kessler,  thought it would be good to join him and others who were attending, and to sit in on a panel.

TIFF is the largest festival in North America, and with 350 films screened in ten days it’s too large. Considering every day there are multiple premiers, screenings, panels, discussion, events and parties one cannot not physically make them all. There were several films I had hoped to see including The Bleeder (which a friend acted in) and Egon Schiele: Tod und Madchen. I had written to a few friends who I knew were attending. At last minute one told me he had 1 extra ticket for The Bleeder but we had set other plans that day and time. The lines waiting for rush tickets were very long to almost every film, and those with the most buzz were impossible to get into. We focused on the panels, discussions and networking moments to learn as much as we could. Our intent was to learn all we could, network where possible, and to use TIFF as the jumping point of the reboot of our film, MegaBall$.

We were armed with some great looking one-sheets; heavy magazine glossy sheets with our poster on one side (designed by our production designer, Roger Ambrose) and details about the project on the other. We handed out where ever we could, but wished we totally depleted our supply before leaving. The response from those we talked with was very positive. They liked the concept, the 1-sheet, and one person stated our log line was the best he’s ever read.

We were invited to one party hosted by the South African Film Office, but we opted to attend one jointly hosted by SAG-AFTRA and ACTRA. I felt as a board member of SAG-AFTRA I was better suited to meet and greet fellow members and union leaders. Overall a nice event and a need break from promoting our film’s development.

The big lesson we learned a little too late. Don’t expect to randomly meet some person in a festival that will have time to talk about the project you’re developing. Sure, there are many filmmakers willing to talk – and we were happy to do that. But the industry people you want, the financiers, distributors and sales reps are so busy doing business there’s not much time to meet. Their schedule doesn’t allow them to just grab a wine and mingle at some panel. The trick is: once you’ve purchased your industry pass, most festivals release a list of all the industry people attending. You must go down that list and reach out to preset meetings. The further in advance of the festival the better. We were able to secure one meeting in advance, that was a little harried because it started late, and we needed to catch the UP train back to our flight home.

Our lawyer had asked us to sit on one of several livestreamed panels about film that coincided with the festival which was featured on Torontoeco.tv. In addition to the development panel we spoke on, we stayed off camera to listen to all the other panels. This was a good move for heard some good advice, met a lot of good people — all colleagues of our lawyer and who took our project seriously. According to the technician the streamed panels had 150,000 views worldwide.

We enjoyed a little down time as well, to pace ourselves and enjoy the city. I wouldn’t mind returning for a few days to play tourist in the early fall.

The overall lesson – plan far ahead when attending a festival. Try to make appointments to meet industry people long before you get there. Dress comfortable, specially shoes, and be armed with a good 1-sheet and lots of business cards, and pens and a notepad. Make sure your 1-sheet (or business cards) have white-space where people can make notes.

Today we now start doing our follow-up. We are now 506c compliant and seeking accredited investors. Bon chance!

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Oh yeah?! Well, we got MegaBall$ !!!

toronto-film-festival-placeholderToronto Film Festival 2016

We’re are in the final stages of prepping to attend the 40th Toronto Film Festival 2016 TIFF16. We’ll be there Sept 10th to the 15th. We’ll be speaking on a panel on Sept 12th, and doing lots of networking and promoting the development and financing of our comedy feature film, MegaBall$. We’ve managed to use hotel points and frequent flier miles to make the trip inexpensive.

We now have a new lawyer/co-exec producer on our team, Hal “Corky”Kessler, ho is very respected in the world of independent film. We’re in the final stages of finishing up a total reboot of our package: new legal, new offering, and new budget. The final work will be Sec 506c compliant. Our budget is now $2 mil, with 400 investor units valued at $5,000 each, and will be effective as of Sept 1, 2017. We’re very pleased with the changes, and we’ve added more team members. Our goal is a Mid-Late Spring 2017 shoot. If you’re at Toronto for #TIFF16 please say hello!…and if you know of any accredited investors, send them our way!

We’ll be on a TIFF16 panel Tuesday, Sept 12th, livestreamed online. There are panels running from 2:30 t0 5:00 PM about Pitching, Dealing with Agents, Development, Funding, International Co-Productions & New Finance Trends, Distribution, and Intellectual Property & the art of contracts. The panels are hosted by our lawyer and co-executive producer, Corky Kessler, and we’re set for the Development Panel at 3:20 PM, along with producer/director James Pasternak, Steven Adam and Chris Helwink. The streaming will be on TorontoEco, a TV show filmed live during the festival at the One King West Hotel Penthouse,  and streamed online at http://www.torontoeco.tv/ – tell your friends, share the link! Viewers can not only watch, but post questions during the panels!

We’re very excited about sitting on the panel – and attending the others. It gives us a great opportunity to learn, meet and network with industry professionals, and expose our MegaBall$ to the world watching online!

BANNER-TIFF16

MaxIt Magazine, an online publication supporting independent film, has written about us: READ MORE

May 13, 2016: The ScreenCraft Screenplay Competition is considered one of the 15 top contests in the world. Last year, MegaBall$ placed in the semi-finals of the 2015 ScreenCraft Comedy Screenplay Contest: of 1260 international entries, we placed in the top 10%.

We finessed the screenplay and reentered. We’re please to share that MegaBall$ is in the quarterfinals of the 2016 ScreenCraft Comedy Screenplay Contest. Stay tuned!

quarter finals

Feb 9, 2016 – We welcome Julie Menin as the new NYC Film Commissioner. NYC is a very film-friendly town, and we look forward to the official support of the industry. We also hope we’ll be walking into Ms. Menin’s office setting up our film permits later this year.

READ MORE           READ MORE           READ MORE

Official Release

 

 January 26, 2016 – We are sad to learn of the death of friend Abe Vigoda today, and send our best to his daughter, Carol, and her family. Abe is best known for his role as Sal Tessio in The Godfather, and as Detective Phil Fish in Barney Miller. My first reaction on hearing the news was, “Are you sure” – referring to the story in People Magazine years ago erroneously reporting of his death, and ever since then….when Abe’s name was mentioned, someone would invariability reply, “Is he still alive?”

Me Abe Cliff(Pictured here are Marc Baron, Abe Vigoda and Cliff Robertson.) Always a gentleman, and always encouraging those around him.  I first met Abe when he joined The Lambs, the historical actors’ club in New York. What many did not know about Abe was that he loved Shakespeare and musical theater, and loved watching live singers. He would often stand around the piano at The Lambs and join in with the singers having a great time.

When he first heard about MegaBall$, and how I thought of him for one of the supporting roles, Abe wanted to learn more, and had asked that rather than read the script, to write him a few pages about the story and about “his” character. After reading the requested material he told me it was okay to tell people he was interested in working on the film. Every so often when we’d talk he’d remind me that he’s not getting younger, and how he was still working.

Sadly, this time the report of his death is true.

Read more about Abe at:  NBC News     NY Times    ABC News     Hollywood
Reporter
    
USA Today    NY Daily News    Variety     CinemaRetro


January 22, 2016 – We’re proud of our production designer, Roger C. Ambrose, for his recent work regarding the announcement of Fox TV’s new X-Files.

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This appeared at LA’s Grove on January 22, 2016, and was featured in The Hollywood Reporter, The Wrap and the LAIst.com…and a video report from FoxTVNews-LA.  Congrats, Roger! We’re excited to have Roger as part of our award-winning production team. Our team holds every award except an Oscar: Emmy, Clio, Tony, Drama Desk, Golden Record….the list of awards goes on and on.

#XFiles


Oroloro partner Joe Cirillo was interviewed on WGBB radio Saturday, Aug 22, 2015, for  Lou Telano’s StreetWise show. Joe talks about his years as an NYPD police officer, then his career switch to film & televison as an actor, technical advisor, screenwriter, and now as a producer of MEGABALL$.

Listen here.

An independent comedy feature film by Oroloro Entertainment


New Powerball Rules

The 30 states that participate in the Powerball – the multi-state lottery – are raising the odds, making it harder to win the top prize, but improving odds at the lower prize levels starting October 7th. You’ll now have to choose your first set of numbers between 1 to 69 (up from 59), and your second set from 1-26 (down from 35). This shifts the money collected slightly down from the top prize from 68% to 64%, while increasing the distribution to the lower prizes. The odds of winning $4 will improve to 1:92. These changes have a positive side, increasing the possible jackpots to what could be the first $1 billion prize. However, the odds of hitting the jackpot are astronomical, now up to 292,201,338 (up from 175,223, 510). How big are those odds? Well, let’s just say be careful on your trip to buy a ticket from your local lottery store, the odds of being killed on the way are much bigger than winning the top prize. Read more HERE  and... read more

NYS Tax Incentive Extended

The New York State film tax incentive has been extended to 2019. Our plan is to use the MEGABALL$ tax benefit – estimated at $190k – toward our marketing fund. Read more an the tax incentive HERE and... read more

Team Growth

We’re very pleased to welcome Twisted Media NYC a co-producers to our MegaBall$ team: James Dalton, the CEO and Founder of Twisted Media NYC, has a unique and wide reaching skill set within the creative genre. His skills encompass writing, producing and directing of multiple shows currently under development within the Twisted Media NYC & Entermedia Brands. With ten years in the industry, his skills are honed to create and develop exactly what a client requires and beyond. John Harrison, founder and President of Twisted Media NYC, has 20 years of business experience ranging from project management, contract administration and negotiations, to sports consulting. He has been involved in the entertainment, media and sports industry, including co-founding Twisted Media NYC. His many high-level contacts in these industries have been the catalyst for Twisted Media NYC and their ability to merge with multiple partners. John has been able to create imaginative and innovative solutions for his clients while not being bound by the constraints of his industry or field. John “Jb” Bruno, previously listed as our production manager, is also part of Twisted Media NYC and is now credited as a producer of MegaBall$. We’re excited about what Twisted Media NYC brings to our... read more

Moving up!

MegaBall$ has made it to the semi-finals of the 2015 ScreenCraft Comedy Screenplay Contest, considered one of the top 10 screenwriting competitions. The places us in the top 10% of more than 1,200 screenplays submitted for the 2015... read more

A small recognition

Very pleased to have MegaBall$ qualify for the quarter-finals of 2015 ScreenCraft Comedy Screenplay Contest. Over 1,200 scripts were submitted. The next step, the semi-finals, brings it down to top 20 scripts, the finals are the top 5, then the 1st prize. Fingers crossed. We’re pleased MegaBall$ was selected and confident we’ll make it to the next round.  The full list of quarter finalist can be found HERE. No we wait to see if we move up to the semi-finalists, finalists, and... read more

Queen for a Day

Last week I was invited to a performance of the new Off-Broadway play, Queen for a Day, starring David Proval (Richie Aprile of The Sopranos) and Vincent Pastore (The Sopranos’ Big Pussy), at the Theater at St. Clements on the west end of Restaurant Row. I had no idea what to expect, except that it was probably a Mob story, simply based on these two actors who have made good careers in that genre. It starts out as typical. Giovanni “Nino” Cinquimani (David Proval) is a crime boss meeting with his lawyer, Sanford Weiss (played by David Deblinger) in an empty warehouse, waiting for a Federal Agent Patricia Cole (played by Portia) to discuss Nino’s crime family life as part of him testifying against his brother, Pasquale, the family Capo (played by Vincent Pastore). This is to be their first meeting to see if Nino has a usable information to qualify him for witness protection. The title Queen for a Day is the slang used for the proffer agreement between the government and witnesses which allows them to talk freely, where nothing may be used against them, as first step towards turning state evidence. Nino, deftly played by Proval, runs his lawyer to the ground as they nervously wait for the arrival of Agent Cole. We learn of Nino’s life as he reminisces of better times in Brooklyn, and of his life as a crime figure. What he has to offer is not enough,  and Agent Cole pushes Nino hard. Real hard, forcing him to dig deeper. About midway through the play, well written by Michael Ricigliano, Jr., takes... read more

Being Social

We realize that an important factor in the success of any independent film is a strong presence on social media. Part of what we do everyday is raise awareness of our project and thereby increase our sellable audience. Our web footprint is already fairly strong and growing. A Google search on MegaBall$ places our web site in first-position, and the Google-bots have approve the site for being mobile friendly. That same Google search also yields more than 11 pages of hits. We have the project listed – or mentioned – in numerous web sites about film including Slated, Stage32, MaxitMagazine, FilmProposals, and others… and Newsday, the 11th largest newspaper in the US, has done a feature about us and is eager to follow our progress. Then there’s social media. You can find MegaBall$ and our company Oroloro (or OroloroEnt) on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Funny or Die, Vine….all as part of building a foundation toward increasing awareness, and an audience. We have also assembled an email list with over 1,000 names residing worldwide, and that list grows weekly. If you haven’t already done so, join our list in the ‘Contact’ section of our site. Many... read more

Joyce Randolph

Joyce Randolph, best known for her work as Trixie Norton on the classic television show The Honeymooners, will play a cameo role in MegaBall$. Here’s a photo taken with Joyce 3-9-15, with Marc Baron (director/writer of... read more

Don Pippin

Don Pippin is a multi-Tony Award winner, Emmy Winner, Drama Desk Winner conductor/arranger/composer known world wide. He continues his support of our film and will score the film. Here’s a photo with Don taken... read more

What ARE the odds?!?

One of the themes in our screenplay is about the odds of winning a lottery. In fact, it’s one characters catch phrases, “What are the odds?. The answer is – they’re huge. Here are how the four big games break down by the odds being the grand prize winner: MEGAMILLION: 258,890,850 to 1 POWERBALL:  175,223,510 to 1 LOTTO: 22,528,737 to 1 TAKE 5: 575,757 to 1 Since the numbers are pulled totally at random, there is no way to specifically increase your adds except by playing more combinations. And, since it’s totally random, there more overall tickets purchased the greater the odds are of sharing that prize with another winner. By comparison, you have a better chance of being hit by lightning while being eaten by a shark. You have a better chance of being killed on the way to buying the ticket than of winning the ticket. And, if your potential investor, you have a significantly better chance of making a profit by putting your money in our film... read more

An independent comedy feature film by Oroloro Entertainment