(MENAFN - Arab Times) UK actor Chiwetel Ejiofor
'Project Gutenberg' dominates Hong Kong Film Awards
OXFORD, England, April 15,
(RTRS): Films telling the stories of innovators in Africa have the power to
transform the way people see the continent and drive social change,
Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor has said.
Ejiofor's comments came as he
appeared at Britain's leading conference on social entrepreneurship, the Skoll
World Forum, to discuss his latest film, 'The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind'.
The film, which he directed,
starred in and for which he wrote the screenplay, is based on the true story of
William Kamkwamba who helped save his Malawian village from drought by building
a power-generating windmill from scrap.
Highlighting young people who
identify and find solutions to local problems was important to encourage social
businesses, said Ejiofor, who won a BAFTA award and Oscar nod for playing
Solomon Northup in the Oscar-winning film '12 Years a Slave'.
'Telling authentic stories about
who people are, not just what they are, will enrich the cultural space in a
very radical way,' he said on the final day of the four-day forum in Oxford.
'The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind'
was partly financed by Participant Media, a US film company that aims to
advance social missions through movies, and launched on Netflix in 2019.
Participant was founded in 2004
by billionaire and former eBay president Jeff Skoll, who set up Skoll World
Forum, and is behind the Academy Award-winning film 'Roma' which tells the
story of an indigenous Mexican domestic worker.
Social entrepreneurs typically
tackle social and environmental problems with commercial strategies.
The sector has grown
significantly in the past decade although there is no comprehensive data to
show the size of the social enterprise sector across Africa.
There are about 26,000 social
enterprises in Ghana and 40,000 in Kenya, according to 2016 estimates by the
British Council, a partly state-funded body that promotes British culture
41, who was born in London to Nigerian parents, said he believed the film
industry was at a tipping point where more movies that aim to change
perceptions and deliver social impact will be made.
'It has taken a bit of time to
get to a point whereby we can really start to engage with stories like this,
but I feel like we are really on the cusp of being able to do that in an
aggressive and a more open way,' he said.
'Project Gutenberg' took home all of the big prizes at the Hong Kong Film
Awards on Sunday, including best film, best script and best director for
writer-director Felix Chong. In total the counterfeiting thriller
collected seven prizes, having been nominated in 17 categories.
The film's star Chow Yun-fat
was beaten to the acting prize by Anthony Wong, who was a third
time winner, this time with 'Still Human', a film about the relationship
between a disabled man and his helper. 'Still Human' also earned prizes for The
Consunji as best new performer, and for Oliver Chan as best
best actress prize went to mainland Chinese performer Chloe Maayan for her role
in Fruit Chan's
sex-filled 'Three Husbands'. The prizes for best supporting actor and actress
went to Ben Yuen and Kara Wai, respectively, both for 'Tracey', a coming out transgender film.
LOS ANGELES: The
Hollywood Women's Film Institute will launch its Hollywood Women's Film
Festival with 'Why Not Choose Love? A Mary Pickford Manifesto' as its opening
title, Variety has learned exclusively.
The Mary Pickford biopic,
Kennedy Clark as the iconic actress, will screen on June 13 at the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Written and directed by Jennifer DeLia, the film also stars Cary Elwes,
Getty, Luke Arnold, Josephine de
La Baume, Jane Stiles, Summer Phoenix, Adam Fergus,
'Why Not Choose Love' is produced
by DeLia through her Poverty Row production banner along with Julie Pacino,
Nitsa Benchetrit, and Kim Zubick ('The Zookeeper's Wife'). The festival will
run through June 18 with screenings and events centered on initiatives dealing
with education and integration advocacy at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, with
additional venues including Dick Clark Productions and UCLA.
Pickford, who was known as
'America's Sweetheart', became one of the biggest stars in Hollywood during the
silent film era. She co-founded the Pickford-Fairbanks Studio and United
Artists along with Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, and D.W. Griffith. She
was also one of the original 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts
and Sciences and won the second Academy Award for best actress for her first
sound-film role in 'Coquette'.