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The Festival de Cannes is proud to welcome Sean Penn for a benefit event in favor of Haiti
the 04.05.2012 at 12:00 AM - Updated on 25.06.2012 at 10:34 AM
The Festival de Cannes is proud to welcome Haiti: Carnival in Cannes a benefit event presented by Giorgio Armani in support of Sean Penn’s J/P HRO, Paul Haggis’ Artists for Peace and Justice and Petra Nemcova’s Happy Heart’s Fund for their united and extraordinary work in Haiti.
On 12 January 2010, life in Haiti was thrown into chaos by an earthquake of a magnitude that was previously unheard of on the island. Hundreds of thousands of people were dead and wounded, a catastrophic toll that created a powerful emotional response around the world. Days after the quake, Sean Penn immediately went to Haiti to assist in emergency relief and founded the J/P Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO). Also working in Haiti at that time was Canadian director-screenwriter Paul Haggis, founder of Artists for Peace and Justice, and Czech super model and humanitarian Petra Nemcova, founder and chair of Happy Hearts Fund which started its work in Haiti in 2007. Today, all three individuals and their organizations are playing a vital and central role in rebuilding the nation.
To help them carry out their extraordinary work and to pay tribute to their tireless humanitarian activities, the Festival de Cannes is hosting a gala fund raising event in support of the Haitian cause. This event is the first of its kind for the Festival de Cannes, since the benefit screening of Il était une fois, l’Amérique by Sergio Leone in 1984 in support of the Institut Pasteur, and the screening of Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s film Elective Affinities in 1996, in support of the reconstruction of the Fenice.
The gala evening, presented by Giorgio Armani, will feature a fund raising dinner on Friday, 18 May at the Festival Agora. The funds raised at the gala will benefit all three charities and help them to bring sustainable programs to the Haitian people quickly and effectively.
A Haitian show entitled “Carnival in Cannes” will present a concert of authentic RaRa and Racine music, created with the RAM band, Haiti's leading Racine group, brought in for the occasion from Haiti. The event will be co-sponsored by Chopard.
Sean Penn has a very close connection with the Festival de Cannes, having presented films in Competition (including The Pledge in 2001, which he directed) and in Un Certain Regard, and he served as President of the Jury in 2008.
The Festival de Cannes is very proud to join ranks with Sean Penn, Paul Haggis and Petra Nemcova in their fight to help Haiti and its inhabitants.
Gilles Jacob commented, “People say that a great actor is by nature egocentric, and that a great director is focussed on his art. Sean Penn is both a great actor and director. What he does above and beyond that for the people and the land of Haiti, giving freely of himself, his abiding presence, his work – one could almost say the work of his own hands – his whole discreet, human, moral and altruistic involvement as a benefactor, commands our greatest respect.”
Thierry Fremaux commented, “Sean Penn is a good friend of the Festival de Cannes, he came in Competition as an actor and as a director, he was President of the Jury. But it is not the only reason why we offered to receive him. We are greatly fascinated by his permanent and long-lasting commitment to Haiti’s recovery. And we are very pleased to be a part of this evening which intends to raise money and honor the Haitians themselves.”
Giorgio Armani added, "I am proud to stand alongside Sean Penn, a man cut from a very rare cloth. He first captivated me as an astonishing actor. Then as a respected director. Then as a loyal friend. And now, as a life changer. It is an honor to be a part of Sean's remarkable life of service by joining his humanitarian efforts for the people of Haiti. For this to come to fruition at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival marks a career milestone for me, and demonstrates what happens when you work with Sean, a world-class force of nature."
About J/P Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO):
Founded by Sean Penn, J/P HRO began its work just hours after the earthquake hit in January 2010. J/P HRO’s goal is to help lift the nation of Haiti out of the rubble and give the Haitian people a better future. J/P HRO has become a leader in Haiti across multiple sectors working to improve living conditions in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and surrounding neighborhoods by clearing rubble, and providing medical services, education and enrichment programs, housing construction, and neighborhood redevelopment. J/P HRO's main objective remains to help displaced people get back to durable, safer, and permanent homes in revitalized neighborhoods. J/P HRO employs 1,200 people, more than 97% of whom are Haitians. To learn more: www.jphro.org.
About Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ):
Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) is a non-profit organization founded by Paul Haggis and friends in 2009 that encourages peace and social justice and addresses issues of poverty around the world. APJ’s immediate goal is to serve children and their families in the poorest communities in Haiti by supporting programs focused on education, health and dignity through the Academy for Peace and Justice, the first free secondary school in Port-au-Prince. APJ donates 100% of public donations directly to its programs in Haiti. To learn more: www.apjnow.org.
About Happy Hearts Fund (HHF):
Founded by Petra Nemcova in 2006, Happy Hearts Fund is a non-profit foundation dedicated to rebuilding schools and restoring hope and opportunity in the lives of children after natural disasters. The organization concentrates its work during the period after emergency response is complete, implementing sustainable practices to ensure a lasting impact. Happy Hearts Fund has worked in a total of 14 countries since inception and is currently active in six countries; Thailand, Indonesia, Chile, Peru, Mexico, and Haiti. Globally HHF has built /rebuilt 57 schools and kindergartens and its programs have benefited more than 34,412 children and 337,450 community members. HHF has been active in Haiti since 2007, building schools and computer labs. To learn more please visit: www.happyheartsfund.org.
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