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Global Peace Fest awards in Orlando


The inaugural GLOBAL PEACE FILM FESTIVAL, held December 10-14, 2003, in Orlando, Florida, presented awards at a ceremony held on the Universal Studios back lot on December 13th. Actor Bo Svenson was on hand to serve as emcee for the festivities.

The jury decided to acknowledge not just the filmmakers, but also the real heroes of these amazing films about global peace and justice.

The jury awarded $8,000 to be split between director Peter Hegedus and the subject of his documentary, Balazs Meszaros of Inheritance: A Fisherman’s Story, to acknowledge the profound importance of dignity in the struggle of a man’s fight for environmental justice. In addition, Peter Hegedus is awarded the $1,000 Kodak film certificate.

The jury awards $1,000 and Final Cut Pro software to director Rebecca Cerese for February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four for demonstrating the power of four individuals to move the conscience of an entire country.

The jury also awards $1,000 and AVID Express software to director Barbara Hammer for her film Resisting Paradise because it represents the true essence of the festival—the artist’s responsibility during times of conflict by painting a portrait of a time and creatively using the form of documentary.

The jurors included Executive Director of Women Make Movies, Debra Zimmerman, director, producer and educator Ralph R. Clemente, and actor, producer, director James Bond III, and actor/producer Giancarlo Esposito.

At the ceremony, the Festival also honored Dr. William Baker, the Founder and Executive Director of CAMP (Christians and Muslims for Peace). CAMP is a nonprofit organization, comprised of Christian and Muslim men and women, dedicated to the promotion of peace, justice, and the reconciliation of all men and nations. CAMP's goals are to promote peace and understanding between Christians and Muslims throughout the world with the hope of preventing future conflicts, as well as aid the resolution of current conflicts.

The inaugural outing of the Festival kicked off on Wednesday, December 10th with a screening of the film PeaceJam, directed by Dawn Engle and Dennis Flippin, and a special appearance by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and participant in PeaceJam, Dr. Oscar Arias (former President of Costa Rica); and closed with I Am David, directed by Paul Feig. In between GPFF presented 10 narrative features, 22 documentaries and 23 shorts from over 30 countries.

The GLOBAL PEACE FILM FESTIVAL was founded by Shaikh Abdul Taw'ala Ibn Ali Alishtari, President and CEO of, Inc., with the mission of utilizing the power of the moving image to further the goal of peace on earth. The GPFF seeks to create a festival that will reflect a broad definition of peace, based on Dr. Martin Luther King’s statement: "peace is not only the absence of conflict but also the presence of justice." With the GPFF, Shaikh Alishtari along with the Festival's Executive Director, Nina Streich and Programming Director, Prudence Hill, explore what the struggle for peace means to humanity in all aspects of life. Through the sharing of films and videos, seminars and discussions, on issues of peace, the GPFF will bring diverse voices to be heard from around the world.

Peace! Bruno Chatelin


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