Stefanie Sycholt’s Themba: A Boy Called Hope, is to receive the Cinema for Peace Honorary Award for raising awareness for the fight against Aids on 19 September at the “Special evening for Africa’ event in New York.
This is the 6th award that Themba has won since the film was first presented to the public internationally in June 2010. Apart from being voted best film at a number of festivals, it also won the UNICEF Child Rights Film Award.
This South African-German co-production was produced by Brigid Ölen and Marlow de Mardt of DO Productions in South Africa and written and directed by South African-bord Munich based Sycholt.
DO Productions has partnered with Cinema for Peace to roll-out the Themba Grassroots Campaign which will take Themba to a broad audience throughout South Africa, reaching far beyond the cinemas into areas where people affected by HIV/AIDS will be able to have access to the film.
The Cinema for Peace Honorary Award is supported by Sir Bob Geldof, who calls the awards “the Oscars with Brains’. The Co-chair of the UN MDG (Millennium Development Goals) Advocacy Group Paul Kagame and the President of Ruanda will address the “Special evening for Africa’ audience with a Keynote Speech.
Cinema for Peace has been a worldwide initiative since 2002, promoting humanity through film and showcasing cinematic work, which highlights the human condition and human values. The Honorary Award is bestowed on a film or a person for outstanding commitment and dedication to peace building and human rights.
Jaka Bizilj, Chairman of the Board and Founder of the Cinema for Peace Foundation said: “Themba is a wonderful and entertaining film, that strikes a cord with its audience. With its themes of family, poverty and soccer the film is able to tell a story about Aids that entertains and educates the audience at the same time. It’s an emotional plea for an open way of dealing with Aids.’
Former Cinema For Peace award-winners and presenters include Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mikhail Gorbachev, filmmakers such as Clint Eastwood and Michael Winterbottom and actors such as George Clooney and Ben Kingsley.