Thursday, March 02, 2006

Pangea Cinema Day

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a talk by documentary film-maker Jehane Noujaim. Her recent Control Room, a controversial look behind the scenes of the news coverage of the Iraq war including stunning interviews with Al Jazeera journalists and the US military press secretary, is a must see—go rent it now!

Just one week ago she won the prestigious TEDprize. Last year’s recipient, Bono, founded ONE as a result of this prize. The prize includes funding for the recipients “wish” to change the world and must be accomplished in one year’s time.

Noujaim’s wish stems from her own experiences seeing how images can be transformational, how it can take a viewer across borders into another persons reality. Her hope is that by showing the stories of people from different religious, cultural, racial, and economic backgrounds, a bridge of understanding and peace will be built:

"Imagine a day when you have everyone coming together from around the world and sharing a communal experience of watching a film all together, all at the same time, from Times Square to Ramallah to the side of the Great Wall of China. If we can create this global day of film, it can create momentum and provide a platform for independent voices and independent filmmakers to get out there".

This wish, known as “Pangea Cinema Day” (referring to when the earth’s continents were one landmass), is in the very beginning stages of development, but I for one am on board. What an exciting opportunity to be a part of. A single day when human beings around the planet come together to be transformed through the experience of another's story. There is talk of a global discussion period to take place after the film viewing, organized by Google. So keep your finger on the pulse of this one, it’s got serious potential.


Blogger tess said...

That sounds pretty incredible! Keep us posted on the Pangea project!

4:20 PM  
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Jehane rocked the house at TED. She was all nervous as she spoke, so her voice quavered the entire time, which I think added to both her charming the audience and convincing them of her sincerity.

She started by admitting she'd peed five times before getting on stage and still felt like she had to go. Luckily, she didn't run off-stage during her talk or the prize-giving.

I asked her afterwards why she was so nervous, since, of all the people there, she already _knew_ she was a hit, since she'd been granted the TED prize, and all of us were just there to fulfill _her_ wishes. She demurred that she didn't want to disappoint people who had put so much faith in her.


7:18 PM  

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