Montreal, September 6, 2012 – The legendary HARRY BELAFONTE will receive the Montreal International Black Film Festival’s 2012 HUMANITARIAN PRIZE on opening night, Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at Cinéma Impérial, at 7 p.m. The MIBFF is granting Belafonte this award for his amazing contributions to the Civil Rights Movements as well as for his incredible selfless and dedicated efforts in addressing injustice and inequality in whatever form they took, even at the risk of his own wellbeing. In other words, for making the world a much better place.
“It is a tremendous honour and a real privilege for all of us to welcome the living legend, Harry Belafonte, to Montreal and to honour him with the very first Montreal International Black Film Festival’s 2012 Humanitarian Prize. Giving him this award is also an excellent way for us to recognize the true value of his spirit that goes far beyond the Award-winning singer and movie star everyone knows. His constant fight for human rights have allowed people from all over the world to believe, hope, break down barriers and achieve great things,” said Fabienne Colas, president and founder of the MIBFF.
The tribute to Harry Belafonte on September 19 will be followed by the screening of the opening film, Darrell Roodt’s WINNIE, presented by Global Montreal, co-produced by Equinoxe Films and starring Oscar- and Grammy-award-winning Jennifer Hudson and Oscar-nominated Terrence Howard.
A VERY SPECIAL EVENING WITH HARRY BELAFONTE
The following day, Thursday, September 20, Mr. Belafonte is pleased to answer questions from the public following the special presentation of Susanne Rostock’s bio-pic Sing your Song, which retraces the defining moments of Belafonte’s life as an activist, singer and actor. This event will take place at Concordia University (Room H-110) at 7 p.m.
“The Montreal International Black Film Festival is more than just a festival. It exposes viewers to international Black realities through cinema and other forms of expression. We want the festival to be a place of inspiration, motivation and development for filmmakers, but also for individuals who want to further their professional and personal lives,” stated Emile Castonguay, Programming Director and co-founder of the Festival.
HARRY BELAFONTE – BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE
Award-winning Harry Belafonte is as well-known for his social activism and pursuit of social justice as he is for his acting and musical talent. His album “Calypso” made him the first artist in history to sell more than one million LPs. He won a Tony award for his Broadway debut in “John Murray Anderson Almanac” and an Emmy for “An Evening with Belafonte,” in which he was also the first Black network television producer. He was also awarded the National Medal for the Arts by President Clinton.
He has been equally recognized in the social justice arena, with honors such as The Albert Einstein Award from Yeshiva University, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize, and the Nelson Mandela Courage Award as well as awards from the American Jewish Congress, the NAACP, the City of Hope, Fight for Sight, The Urban League, The National Conference of Black Mayors, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the ACLU, the State Department, the Boy Scouts of America, Hadassah International and the Peace Corps.
Over the decades, Mr. Belafonte has worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, and was the driving force behind the 1985 “We Are the World” project to help people affected by war, drought, and famine in Africa. He has served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and is a recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors for excellence in the performing arts. He currently resides in New York City with his wife Pamela, and has four children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchild.
The 8th annual MIBFF will take place from September 19 to 30, 2012, and is brought to you by Global Montreal!
ABOUT THE MONTREAL INTERNATIONAL BLACK FILM FESTIVAL – MIBFF
The Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF) was created in 2005 by the Fabienne Colas Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting cinema, art and culture. The mission of the Montreal International Black Film Festival is to stimulate the development of the independent film industry and to foster the creation of films on international Black realities. The Festival wants to promote a different kind of cinema: cinema from both here and abroad that doesn’t always make it to the silver screen. We showcase groundbreaking cinema that both moves and shocks us, all while raising awareness. MIBFF films deal with issues and raise questions that are at once provocative, funny, perplexing and shocking. Join us for a fresh look at Black cinema from all four corners of the globe! www.montrealblackfilm.com.