FilmAid's 20th Anniversary Power of Film Benefit

November 2019. New York City, The Standard Hotel

FilmAid International is an NGO founded by independent filmmakers that provides displaced people with actionable information about their rights, safety, health and future. Through video, radio, print, SMS, and digital media campaigns created and distributed in collaboration with refugee communities, FilmAid is able to reach over 400,000 people in refugee camps and urban areas every year.

FilmAid’s 20th Anniversary Power of Film celebration took place early November at the Standard Hotel above New York’s Highline. The evening highlighted the initiatives and powerful impact made by the organization and its new partner, Internews.
The cocktail event and program included moving remarks by FilmAid Founder Caroline Baron and Jeanne Bourgault, President and CEO of Internews, introduced by Internews board member Cristiana Falcone Sorrell. Kati Marton and Tim Blake Nelson spoke as well as More Raça, who travelled from Kosovo to share her personal journey from refugee to filmmaker. Her path was inspired by watching cartoons and Charlie Chaplin movies screened by FilmAid’s Mobile Cinemas as a 6-year-old refugee in Macedonia.
Actress, Producer and Director, Katie Holmes presented this year’s Richard C. Holbrooke Memorial Award for Dedication to Humanitarian Service to Participant CEO David Linde in honor of his work, films and activism.
The retro-modern setting with wooden panels allowed photography by National Geographic Photographer, Karen Kasmauski, to stand out. These photos captured the journey of FilmAid’s Mobile Cinema screenings of the film “He Named Me Malala,” in partnership with Participant, at various refugee camps in Kenya and Jordan, reaching over 35,000 female refugees in 2016.
The Power of Film underscores the influence and potential of film to effect positive change in the world. FilmAid and Internews continue to support vulnerable populations and have already expanded into the southern Zimbabwean city of Bulawayo, where political persecution and economic collapse have displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
Empire is honored to support the power of storytelling by producing galas and festivals such as FilmAid’s Power of Film celebration.
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