Film Gala at Hollywood Egyptian Theater Unites Rare Art and Activists to Wake Up World

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The spotlight is on sparkle, not glitter, as a Hollywood red carpet Film Awards Gala at the famed Egyptian Theater rewards vision, inspiration and activism toward actualizing ideals.

The 2004 Artivist Awards will be held at the famous Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, California on Tuesday April 27th. The sparkling red carpet gala event crowns the six-day Artivist Film Festival, which officially started on Earth Day and represents a conscious coalition between filmmakers, artists and activists to raise funds and awareness toward constructive causes.

Tippi Hedren (Alfred Hitchcock’s classic discovery, "The Birds") will be presented an award for her lifelong achievement in Animal Rights advocacy. Mike Farrell (the ever popular TV-series MASH) will receive an award for his for dedication to Human Rights. Ed Begley Jr. ("A Mighty Wind") will be honored for his lifelong dedication to the environment, and France Nuyen ("South Pacific," classic "Star Trek") for Children's Advocacy.

Two paintings of the Tuscan artist M.L. Ugolini-Bonta whose paintings have been reviewed as poetry "containing atoms of light” will be auctioned. The Florentine fine artist whose works are tributes to Nature was described by critics as possessing “exquisite sensibility that belonged to the great Tuscan painters, masters of light and color.” The rare donation was made by the artist's estate and daughter, novelist film-artist Vanna Bonta, “to support ideals lived and held by the painter M. Ugolini-Bonta for a world in which Nature is respected and protected, and intelligent Creativity is applied toward Humankind’s achievement of Harmony and Evolution toward Discovery of the Cosmos.”

Funds raised by the festival will go to Witness, Child Welfare League of America, The Humane Society of the United States and Greenpeace. Artivist will present awards to the festival’s top films and to prominent actors, artists and activists for outstanding achievement in service of the key festival issues: children’s advocacy, international human rights, animal rights and environmental preservation.

Filmmakers from around the world have competed in three categories of film or video – narrative, documentary and short film. The centerpiece films of the festival, which coincide with the key issues are: children’s advocacy – "Born into Brothels," international human rights – "Juvies," animal rights – "Urban Elephant" and environmental preservation – "Supersize Me." In total over 75 films are being shown throughout the festival.

Other events include an exhibit of work by world renowned fine artists and photographers, including noted environmental photographer Subhankar Banerjee, also Phil Borges and Patrick M. Webb.

Founder and Executive Producer, Diaky Diaz said: “I cannot express how many times I have been told that the concept is long overdue. People from all walks of life have temporarily put their lives on hold to work on the festival.” She added, “We are expecting over 7,000 participants over the course of the event.”

The Artivist Film Festival runs through April 28, 2004 and is the first film festival dedicated to addressing social, global, political, animal rights and environmental issues through Film, Visual Arts & Music.

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Susan Mainser

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