ARTIVIST FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2011 FILM AWARDS
10 Films Take Top Honors In Five Thematic Categories
Prior To Their Debut at Artivist Film Festival in Hollywood in August, Award-Winners To Be ‘Previewed’ In Six U.S. Cities, July 8-10: Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Seattle, Sedona (AZ) and Washington D.C.
LOS ANGELES, CA – June 30, 2011 - Artivist Collective, Inc., the nonprofit organization that produces the annual Artivist Film Festival, has announced its 2011 film awards in five categories: Human Rights, Children’s Advocacy, Environmental Preservation, Animal Advocacy and Artivist Spirit.
An award was given to a feature film and a short film in each category for a total of 10 awards. The complete list of award winners follows. The awards will be presented to the filmmakers at the Closing Night Awards Program of the 2011 Artivist Film Festival in Los Angeles, August 18-20.
In a first-of-its-kind program for film festivals, all ten films will be showcased in a series of preview screenings in six U.S. cities, July 8-10: Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Seattle, Sedona (AZ.) and Washington D.C. The screenings will precede the films debut at the festival in Los Angeles, to be held at the historic Egyptian Theater in the heart of Hollywood.
“We very excited about this year’s roster of award-winning film. They’re among the very best we have had the privilege of screening over the past eight years,” says Diaky Diaz, co-founder and president of Artivist Film Festival and Awards. “Watching these 10 films takes the viewer on an eye-opening journey around the world from the lush jungles of southeast Asia to the Western plains of the U.S. and the townships of South Africa. Along the way, we’re informed and inspired – a travel adventure for the mind and spirit.”
The name Artivist is a combination of “artist” and “activist.” Since its inception in 2003, Artivist has screened 400+ films representing more than 60 countries, and has produced film festival tours in Los Angeles, New York, London, Tokyo, Mexico City, and Lisbon, that have reached more than 35 million people.
Among the films presented at the Artivist Film Festival over the years have been Academy Award winner “Born Into Brothels” and Academy Award nominee “Super-Size Me” as well as the Los Angeles Premiere of critically-acclaimed documentaries “God Sleeps In Rwanda,” “Fast Food Nation,” “Emmanuelle’s Gift,” “Zeitgeist,” “Trudell,” “Stolen Childhoods” and “Regeneration.”
This year, Artivist proudly welcomes back PETROBRAS as its Official Community Partner. Since 2004 Petrobras has supported the growth of the international Artivist Film Festival and Artivist Awards. Petrobras, a Brazilian energy company, has a 30 year history of distributing ethanol from sugar cane as fuel for vehicles, and is now
committed to increasing the production and exports of ethanol. At its new research center, scientists are looking for ways to produce ethanol from farming byproducts, which can increase production without the need for more farming land.
Petrobras is the largest funder of Cultural Arts Programs in Brazil, and a partner of hundreds of social projects specially focused on reducing poverty and creating opportunities for children and teenagers living in some of the poorest neighborhoods in Brazil.
In 2010, selected projects received 45 million dollars to help protect endangered species like sea turtles, spinners dolphins and the manatee, as well as initiatives on carbon capture, water protection, biodiversity, and climate change.
As the only company in the energy sector that is part of the Global Compact Board of the UNITED NATIONS, Petrobras commits its corporate governance to the 10 principles set forth by the UN.
Understanding the interdependence between humanity, animals, and the environment is crucial in our global community. By working with individuals and groups, organizations and companies, we can create long-term solutions to our global problems.
Artivist Collective, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All proceeds benefit the Annual Artivist Film Festival, creating a platform for socially conscious "Artivists" to share their inspirational and informative films with the world. For more information, visit http://www.festival.artivist.com/
Artivist Film Festival 2011 Films Awards
Feature: “Because They Were Beautiful” (Indonesia, Netherlands) – Frank van Osch, director
Short: “Umoja: No Men Allowed” (Kenya, Australia) – Elizabeth Tadic, director
Feature: “Surfing Soweto” (South Africa) – Sara Blecher, director
Short: “Grace” (Philippines, Switzerland) – Meagan Kelly, director
Feature: “Spoil” (Canada, U.S.) – Trip Jennings, director
Short: “The Leaves Keep Falling” (Vietnam, USA) – Julie Winokur, director
Feature: “Green” (Indonesia, France) – Patrick Rouxel, director
Short:“Saving Pelican 895” (USA) – Irene Taylor Brodsky, director
Feature: “Love Hate Love” (USA) – Don Hardy, Dana Nachman, directors
Short: “Crooked Beauty” (USA) – Ken Paul Rosenthal, director
2011 Award-Winning Film Synopses:
Because They Were Beautiful - Filmmaker Frank van Osch, photographer Jan Banning (World Press Photo Award 2004) and journalist Hilde Janssen, traveled throughout Indonesia to search for former “comfort women”: young women who were abducted and forced to serve as sex slaves to the Japanese Armed Forces during World War II. Many comfort women had already passed away, and the ones still alive are now all in their 80s. Still considered a taboo subject in many parts of Asia, the comfort women in “Because They Were Beautiful” depict for us a little-known but important page of history, bravely describing the systematic
Crooked Beauty - This poetic yet powerful film chronicles artist-activist Jacks McNamara's transformative journey from childhood abuse to psych-ward patient to pioneering mental-health advocate. It is an intimate portrait, interwoven with poignant testimonials, of McNamara’s intense personal quest to live with courage and dignity, as well as a powerful critique of standard psychiatric treatments.
Grace - The lives of scavengers in the Philippines are revealed through the story of a courageous young girl. Thirteen-year-old Mary-Grace Rapatan has lived on top of a notorious garbage dump in the Philippines her entire life, picking through mountains of trash to feed her family while persevering to get an education. The film shows the determination and potential of this young teenager despite the challenges she faces.
Green: Her name is Green, and she is alone in a world that now doesn't belong to her. Green is a female orangutan, a victim of deforestation and resource exploitation. The recipient of over 20 international film festival awards, including the United Nations’ International Forest Film Festival “Best of the Festival” award, “Green” is an emotional, heart-wrenching journey of Green's final days in her beloved Indonesian rainforest. The film is a visual ride, presenting the treasures of rainforest biodiversity and the devastating impacts of logging and land clearing for palm oil plantations.
Love Hate Love - Executive Producer Sean Penn presents this story of the victims of terrorism and how they must rebuild their lives. It's been eight years since Liz Alderman's son Peter was murdered by terrorists. Every day since then, Liz is faced with the same two options--succumbing to the depths of despair or finding a way to survive. Esther Hyman knows about this choice as well: Her sister was killed when the bus she was riding to work was blown up. And Ben Tullipan now lives minus his two legs and his hearing because of the one-ton bomb that went off just a few yards away. Their lives, shattered by terrorists, are now on a new path, and they’re taking thousands of people along for the ride. “Love Hate Love” follows these survivors as they search for honor, meaning and a new future.
Saving Pelican 895 - Nearly 9,000 birds were found in the oily waters of the Gulf Coast in the wake of the 2010 BP oil spill. One of them was a young pelican coated by oil near his nest in Louisiana. This is the story of the 895th bird to be rescued and rehabilitated by a dedicated team of wildlife experts and every day people, many of whom travel the world responding to oil disaster.
Spoil - Three world-renowned photographers build relationships with indigenous Gitga’at guides throughout a ten-day photo expedition in their search for the rare, elusive spirit bear. Their mission is to create images of this rare bear and the ecosystem that it relies on, before a proposed oil pipeline from the Alberta tar sands threatens to spoil it. The spirit bear, globally rarer than the panda, lives only on the north coast of British Columbia, and the film gives a visually stunning and inspiring display of the interconnectedness of this coastal ecosystem, which has existed in symbiosis with the indigenous communities there for thousands of years.
Surfing Soweto – “Dogtown And the Z Boys” meets “Rebel Without A Cause” on the streets of Soweto, South Africa. Over the course of the last three years, Cinga Productions followed and documented the lives of three of the most notorious train surfers in Soweto: Bitch Nigga, Lefa and Mzembe. We see them on the top of trains hurtling through Soweto, venture into the heroin dens of Hilbrow, and go into jails with names like Sun City - all in the hope of understanding their frustrations and documenting the lives of the new generation of youth in Soweto. This is the story of a forgotten generation, born after the demise of apartheid but too early to reap the benefits of freedom.
The Leaves Keep Falling - During the Vietnam War, the U.S. military sprayed some 12 million gallons of Agent Orange herbicide on Vietnam. This defoliant was used to immediately destroy crops, clear vegetation, and remove the dense forest that provided food and cover for Viet Cong forces. Forty years later, the dioxin from Agent Orange is still wreaking havoc on three generations of Vietnamese civilians. The film is an intimate portrait of two Vietnamese families whose children, among the millions, must live with the devastating consequences of the pesticide.
Umoja: No Men Allowed - Set in Kenya, an unlikely battle of the sexes erupts in tribal Samburu land. This is the amusing and life-changing story of a group of tribal Samburu women in Northern Kenya who reclaim their lives, turning age-old patriarchy on its head, when they set up a women's only community. Cast out by their husbands after being raped by British soldiers, the women have bonded together to establish the village of Umoja, but their prosperity incurs the wrath of men, including their tribal leaders, leading to a gender war.