CMCS Press Release – NYC 2015



Worst Shark Attack Ever at America’s First Conference on Celebrity Culture

New York City, NY (August 31, 2015) – The Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) will feature an exclusive interview on Worst  Shark  Attack  Ever,  an  award-winning  documentary  featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and A-list filmmaker Veronica Grey, who also directed the documentary and is the author #1 bestselling book Healthy, Wealthy and Wise. Recently featured on the NBC show “Morning Blend”, Veronica Grey will be offering a roundtable interview at America’s first international conference on celebrity culture Bridging Gaps: Where is the Persona in Celebrity and Journalism in New York City on September 2, 2015.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Veronica Grey were recently awarded the 2015 Special Humanitarian Award from the International Film Awards for their work on Worst Shark Attack Ever, as well as the Socially Responsible Conservationist Award from the New Media Film Festival and the Special Jury Award from the International Film Festival of Environment, Health, and Culture. The film is eligible for the 2015 Celebrity Chat best screen award. Celebrity Chat is a series launched by conference chair Jackie Raphael.

The conference also features a roundtable interview on author Basuli Deb’s upcoming book Come, Cross the Line: Celebrity Lifestyles and Public Intellectualism, facilitated by critic Nidhi Shrivastava. Key speakers of the conference are Josh Nathan, Shetal Shah, Shannon Skinner, and Samita Nandy.

Josh Nathan is a broadcaster and communication professor at The Art Institute of Colorado in Denver. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Northwestern University, he started building his chops for CNN- and NBC-affiliates. In 2002, CBS tapped him as one of 72 employees to begin its new station in southern California’s Coachella Valley. He holds a National Weather Association Broadcaster’s Seal of Approval and has presented twice at its annual conferences. His new children’s book, Too Mad to Trust, addresses anticipated fears designed to prevent a lifetime of speech-language disorders.

Shetal Shah is a filmmaker and actor in New York. Trained at the Maggie Flanigan Studios, Shetal worked at the Maine Media Workshops, Boston Film/Video Foundation, CBS News, and with Python/Aquarius Productions. Graduating from Columbia University and The New School, she has worked in collaboration with the United Nations focusing on human rights and climate change. She is a proud member of the InViolet Theater Company and has performed in films, TV, and theatre.

Shannon Skinner is the host and producer of the television series, Extraordinary Women TV, and Shannon Skinner Live radio show broadcast on VoiceAmerica Women’s Channel. With more than 20 years of experience in public relations, she is regular contributor to the Huffington Post and has appeared in LIFE magazine, Good Morning America, Rogers TV Daytime, Global TV, Canadian Living,, Good News Toronto, and Liquid Lunch, among others.

Samita Nandy is the director of the Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) and writes as  a cultural critic on fame. She earned her PhD in media and celebrity culture from the Department of Media and Information at Curtin University, Australia, in 2012 and is a certified broadcast journalist. Her international media relations and work led her to be featured on CBC News, CTV’s Breaking News CP 24, The Globe and Mail, OMNI TV, Canada’s no.1 Chatelaine, and Flare among many more. Her forthcoming book Fame in Hollywood North will be published in 2015 by WaterHill Publishers.

CMCS­­­ is the only international organization that specializes in media and celebrity studies. It facilitates academic and media partnerships to develop commentaries on fame and social change. For information on the conference program, visit or contact conference chairs Jackie Raphael and Samita Nandy at

For title sponsorship, media interviews, and high resolution images call 917-294-4383 or send an email to with your name, title, the media you represent, and your telephone number.