Cinema for Peace 2011: Honors Sean Penn in Berlin
On February 14th, the 10th, Cinema for Peace Gala took place in Berlin with the Dalai Lama as its Patron and Sean Penn as Honorary Chair. Outstanding cinematic work which highlights the human condition and human values was honored with the Cinema for Peace Awards.
For the work Sean Penn picked up with his J/P Haitian Relief Organization in Haiti, he was awarded the Cinema for Peace Honorary Award. The German Vice President and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle held the laudation. Thereafter, Sean Penn addressed the audience with a strong plea, saying that members of the current generation would “die ashamed” if they do not end world poverty in their lifetime. Bill Roedy and MTV received the Cinema for Peace Award for Fighting Aids for their “Staying Alive Campaign”, the “Ignite CAmpaign” and the series “Shuga”. The award was presented by the man actress of “Shuga”, LupitaNyong’o.
The Cinema for Peace Award for the Most Valuable Movie of the Year, selected by an independent international jury, went to Xavier Beauvois’ film “Of Gods and Men”, which tells the story of French monks that were killed in Algeria. Ornella Muti held the laudation. Etienne Comar, the screenwriter of the movie, dedicated the award to the monks who sacrificed their lives to bring peace to their community.
The International Human Rights Film Award that is selected together with Amnesty International and the Human Rights Film Network went to Father Macro Arana Zegarra of Peru and the documentary “The Devil Operation”, that tells how he initiated civil resistance against an aggressive mining operation in his community. The German Minister of Justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger presented The Cinema for Peace Award for Justice that went to Frank Piasecki Poulsen for his documentary “Blood in the Mobile”. This film shows the connection between the bloody civil war in the Congo and the minerals used by the cell phone industry.
Human rights activist Aung San SuuKyi, who was also nominated in this category, sent a video message that asked the world for help: “We need the cinema and artists to make the world understand that Burma needs help; that Burma has not begun to democratization process yet.” Mohammad Mostafaei issued a similar please for democracy, saying that “There are a lot of journalists, a lot of human rights activists and political activists in the prisons of Iran [...] you must help us to reach democracy and peace.” Mostafaei is the attorney of Sakineh Ashtiani, who has been sentenced to stoning. Last year, Cinema for Peace had decorated two movies that criticize this brutal praxis and organized a press conference with Mostafaei to support Sakineh Ashtiani.
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