The Cinema for Peace Foundation announced today that Academy Award-winning actor, filmmaker and founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, Ben Affleck, will be honored with the Cinema for Peace Humanitarian Award at the 2013 Gala for Humanity on January 11 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, Calif.
Each year since 2002, Cinema for Peace gives the Humanitarian Award to an individual and his or her organization who has demonstrated the foresight, courage and leadership required to take a stand against extreme injustice, intolerance and inequalities.
At the gala in January, Cinema for Peace will recognize 25 individuals and initiatives from the world of film in six categories: charitable giving, advocacy, protecting the environment and its people, Hurricane Sandy relief, as well as founders and partners of the organization. The Eastern Congo Initiative will be the beneficiary of Cinema for Peace’s highest honor, the Cinema for Peace Humanitarian Award.
More than 5 million people have been killed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1996, making it the worst modern humanitarian crisis area in the world. Recently, the violence has escalated tenfold due to the rebel militia taking control of Goma, the economic center and capital. As a result, more than 230,000 families have been displaced in North and South Kivu – equivalent to the population of Hollywood and Santa Monica combined. The need for aid is at an all-time high.
“The Eastern Congo Initiative is the first U.S.-based advocacy and grant-making initiative wholly focused on working with and for the people of Eastern Congo,” said Jaka Bizilj, Founder of Cinema for Peace. “The Cinema for Peace Foundation is pleased to honor Ben Affleck for his courageous efforts to raise awareness about this terrible catastrophe and his brave stand against the injustices experienced by the Congolese. We are proud to support their work by providing desperately needed financial resources.”
Hollywood Foreign Press Association President, Dr. Aida Takla-O’Reilly, will open the 2013 Gala for Humanity with a special introduction on how film can be a powerful tool for messages of humanity. The HFPA is officially supporting the Cinema for Peace 2013 Gala for Humanity and its members are also attending.
Chairs of the 2013 Gala for Humanity include Claire and John Cauldwell, Roland Emmerich, Veronica Ferres, Cindy Hensley McCain, Jeff Robinov, Cathy Schulman, Bryan Singer and Jeff Skoll. Co-Chairs include Christian Angermayer, Elmar Biebl, Jaka Bizilj, Ted Braun, Rosilyn Heller, Philip [...]