Thursday, March 25, 2010

Self-Immolation: A Cry for Help

Stephanie Sinclair, an American photojournalist known for gaining unique access to the most sensitive gender and human rights issues around the world, creates a stunning and horrific sense of the tortured and hopelessness pervading the lives of women in Afghanistan. See the result of a situation in which burning oneself seems like the better option than most.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Empowerment Through Film

A young Ugandan refugee in a Kenyan camp recently visited Geneva for UNHCR events linked to International Women's Day. Kate Ofwono gave an interview about how completing a film in the Participatory Video Program run by FilmAid International helped empower her and gave her strength to help others. FilmAid uses the power of the visual medium to educate and empower communities in crisis.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Update on Massachusetts film tax credits

The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Revenue voted down House Bill 3854 on March 11. The Bill proposed to cut state tax credits for the film industry. However, Governor Deval Patrick still supports capping the tax credits in his budget proposal. Read the Boston Globe’s coverage and continue to check the Massachusetts Film Office website for more updates.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Forgotten War

Dahr Jamail, an independent U.S. reporter in Iraq, wrote recently on his site about the Iraq war as the 'Forgotten' War. As Afghanistan takes center stage in the U.S. media outlets, the occupation of Iraq takes a backseat. Yet, 130 thousand American troops and 114 thousand private contractors still remain in the country and approximately 400 Iraqi civilians continue to die each month. In addition to a lack of electricity and drought in-country threatening 2 million people with the possibility of no power or water, an astounding 4.5 million Iraqis have been displaced as refugees in other countries.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Act on 8 and WCI

There are 8 international development goals that 192 United Nations members states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs):

1 Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

2 Achieve Universal Primary Education

3 Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

4 Reduce Child Mortality

5 Improve Maternal Health

6 Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases

7 Ensure Environmental Sustainability

8 Develop a Global Partnership for Development

Act on 8 is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the Millennium Development Goals. Find out how to take action on any one of the 8 goals.

Women's Campaign International (WCI) is a US based non-profit organization dedicated specifically to goal 3. WCI works in emerging democracies and post-conflict regions around the world to advance opportunities for women to actively participate in public advocacy and political processes.

Find more videos like this on Women in Afghanistan

Hear how women in Afghanistan would like to be empowered.

Find out more about WCI

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Peace Through Business

The Institute of Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW), a non-profit focused on empowering women to "grow" their own businesses, has designed the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS training program. The 2010 program will take place in Rwanda and Afghanistan as a three-part business education program for 30 entrepreneurial women in each country. The women will participate in an 8-week training course culminating in the completion of an in-depth business plan. 30 of the women will then travel to the United States to participate in Leadership Development conference - each women being matched with an American woman business owner to provide a mentorship for the duration of the week and beyond. The hope is that, upon returning their home countries, the women will then Pay it Forward by educating other women in their country.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Brattleboro, Vermont hosts the Women's Film Festival

This month Brattleboro, Vermont hosts the 19th annual Women’s Film Festival from March 12 to 21. Proceeds from the event benefit Brattleboro’s Women’s Crisis Center, which helps women and children that have suffered from domestic or sexual abuse. The festival will present a variety of feature and documentary films. Check out the schedule for more information.

Out of its many films, the festival will feature Quest for Honor, a documentary by Mary Ann Smothers Bruni that premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. The film reveals the practice of honor killing in northern Iraq, which continues to take place, and follows a group of women as they work to end this brutal tradition. Bruni will attend the screening, which will be held on March 13 at 7:00 pm.

Friday, March 05, 2010

V-Day: I am an Emotional Creature

Eve Ensler, creator of "The Vagina Monologues", has organized a global movement to stop violence against women and girls, called V-Day. V-Season lasts from February 1st through April 30th, and invites women and girls to host their own events. In conjunction with this project, she has released a book in tandem called I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Lives of Girls Around the World - a fictional collection of monologues based on stories inspired by girls around the globe. Watch Eve speak during a 2004 TED talk about menopause, violence against women and finding happiness.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

TED Conference features docs - including The Promise of Freedom

Thanks to support from the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, our new film, The Promise of Freedom, was featured at the latest TED Conference. Mariane Pearl (activist, author and Exectuive Producer of the documentary, Resilient), Trevor Neilson and Michael Massing led a discussion about how filmmaking and journalism can help promote tolerance, hope and progress.

Message to MA Legislators - Don't Cap Film Tax Credits

This morning Beacon Hill legislators are listening to arguments on a bill to cap film tax credits in Massachusetts. These credits are vital to the growth of the film industry in the state, and cutting them will only send studios a message that Massachusetts isn't serious about attracting filmmakers.