HDI Bulletin

The Humpty Dumpty Institute Launches the International Film Exchange
U.S. Embassy Awards Grant for Promising Filmmakers to Create Films about Important Social Issues

April 25, 2013 - For Immediate Release

The Humpty Dumpty Institute today announced the launch of the International Film Exchange (IFE) which trains filmmakers with special promise from developing countries and helps them use the power of film and television to highlight important social issues. In addition, the IFE raises awareness in the U.S. film industry about the struggles of promising filmmakers abroad when attempting to document those issues.

The Humpty Dumpty Institute also announced the receipt of a new grant in the amount of $207,000 from the United States Embassy in Baghdad in support of the IFE. The new grant allows the Institute to bring promising filmmakers from Iraq to Los Angeles for a ten-day training course, followed by an extended period of mentorship by practitioners from the U.S. film industry. The end product will be one short film per filmmaker about an important social issue in their country. The theme in 2013 is Human Rights.

In connection with the grant, the five promising filmmakers will travel to Los Angeles in June for a week long intensive training course at UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film and Television. The curriculum will include classes on film financing, marketing and distribution, creative and physical production, and visual effects. Additionally, practitioners from the U.S. film industry will serve as mentors for program participants and work with them over a period of five months after the training to help them produce their short film. Two of the mentors will travel to Iraq to conduct a follow up workshop for participating filmmakers and also provide training for other promising filmmakers. Humpty Dumpty will work with the U.S. Embassy in Iraq to achieve the widest possible distribution of the completed films.

The completed works of the participating filmmakers will also be highlighted at a screening during the 2014 Global Creative Forum in Los Angeles. This unique conference, which is a program of the Humpty Dumpty Institute, brings together senior United Nation’s officials, including generally Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and some of the most influential decision makers in the film and television industry.

The President of the Humpty Dumpty Institute, Ralph Cwerman, welcomed the news saying "Our new International Film Exchange program is a significant part of our larger Public Diplomacy efforts around the world. This is an important new program that will connect promising filmmakers with some of Hollywood’s best known professionals to generate what we know will be a series of compelling messages about some of the most important issues of our time."

"We hope overtime, to bring hundreds of promising foreign filmmakers from different parts of the world to Los Angeles for some of the best technical and creative training that is available," added Cwerman. "These mentorships will bring some of Hollywood's finest to places like Iraq to continue to work with these promising artists."

For more information about the International Film Exchange, please contact Joe Merante at 212-944-7111 or joe.merante@thehdi.org.

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