Sunday, May 25, 2008

Harnessing the power of film to heal and unite

Can art -- and in particular film -- help bring the world together? The organizers of the recently-held Web even called "Pangea Day" think so. Pangea was the super-continent that existed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras about 250 million years ago, before each of the component continents were separated into their current configuration. In other words, it marks the time when the Earth's land masses were physically united -- well before humans arrived on the scene.

There have been numerous environmental music events over the years, but the problem with many of these as far as I'm concerned is that there was seldom a direct connection between the music and the message. Just the opposite with the powerful and touching films presented as part of Pangea Day. Check them out.

Also check out their Web site to find out how you can get involved in case you missed the event. (GW)

Pangea Day

A global event harnessing the power of film to strengthen tolerance and compassion while uniting millions of people to build a better future.

May 10, 2008
TED Conferences
c/o Pangea Day

The Pangea Day Mission & Purpose

Pangea Day is a global event bringing the world together through film.

Why? In a world where people are often divided by borders, difference, and conflict, it's easy to lose sight of what we all have in common. Pangea Day seeks to overcome that – to help people see themselves in others – through the power of film.

The Pangea Day Event

Starting at 18:00 GMT on May 10, 2008, locations in Cairo, Kigali, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro will be linked for a live program of powerful films, live music, and visionary speakers. The entire program will be broadcast – in seven languages – to millions of people worldwide through the internet, television, and mobile phones.

The 24 short films to be featured have been selected from an international competition that generated more than 2,500 submissions from over one hundred countries. The films were chosen based on their ability to inspire, transform, and allow us see the world through another person's eyes. Details on the Pangea Day films can be viewed here.

The program will also include a number of exceptional speakers and musical performers. Queen Noor of Jordan, CNN's Christiane Amanpour, musician/activist Bob Geldof, and Iranian rock phenom Hypernova are among those taking part.

What Will Happen After Pangea Day

People inspired by Pangea Day will have the opportunity to participate in community-building activities around the world. Through the live program, the Pangea Day web site, and self-organized local events, everyday people will be connected with extraordinary activists and organizations.

Many of the films and performances seen on Pangea Day will be made available on the Web and via mobile phone, alongside open forums for discussion and ideas for how to take social action.

A Pangea Day documentary will be created to catalyze future activities, and dozens of talented filmmakers will make strides in their careers.


In 2006, filmmaker Jehane Noujaim won the TED Prize, an annual award granted at the TED Conference. She was granted $100,000, and more important, a wish to change the world. Her wish was to create a day in which the world came together through film. Pangea Day grew out of that wish. Watch Jehane Noujaim’s 2006 acceptance speech now.

Pangea Day is a project of the Sapling Foundation


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