EXCLUSIVE: Mira Sorvino has been named the inaugural recipient of the UCLA Law Promise Institute Award for Contribution to Human Rights Through the Arts. Sorvino will accept the award at UCLA’s summit Lights. Camera. Reaction: The Art of Impact in Entertainment at the Hammer Museum on March 16. Many Hollywood voices will be in attendance at the summit which brings together legal, human rights and filmmaking communities for a discussion that will illuminate issues of legality and ethics, creative integrity, production, distribution, and publicity as they relate to bringing human rights stories to the big screen.
“I’m deeply honored to receive the inaugural Promise Award,” said Sorvino, who in addition to her career as an actor and producer has worked to combat human trafficking, slavery and sexual harassment and abuse. “Film is a powerful tool to bring about social change, and we in the industry have the privilege of using our platform for social justice, and to use our art to tell stories of injustice, war, and genocide to encourage the spread of human rights around the globe.”
Sorvino has shown a life-long commitment to social change. She is one of the driving forces behind the recent Time’s Up movement, has served as the spokesperson for Amnesty International’s Stop Violence Against Women campaign, and has been Goodwill Ambassador to fight human trafficking for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime since 2009. On behalf of the UN’s Blue Heart campaign, she addressed a Vatican conference on human trafficking and has testified before Congress and others on issues including modern slavery and the crisis in Darfur. She was the on-the-ground anchor of CNN Freedom Project’s “Every Day in Cambodia” documentary on child sex-trafficking. She is currently producing a feature comedy centering on marriage equality.
Panelists for Lights. Camera. Reaction. will include Academy Award-winning producer and director Edward Zwick, Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning documentary film producer Amy Ziering (The Invisible War, The Hunting Ground), leading First Amendment and media law attorney Kelli Sager, Academy Award-nominated producer Reginald Hudlin (Marshall), Sundance Film Festival award-winning director Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Twilight), producer Dr. Eric Esrailian (The Promise, Intent to Destroy) and director Evgeny Afineevsky (Winter on Fire, Cries from Syria).
Organizers include the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law, the Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, and the nonprofit arts foundation Creative Armenia.
“The arts can educate, heal, change policy and change lives,” said Esrailian, who in addition to producing films is on the faculty of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “Collaborations among human rights experts and filmmakers—including the organizers, sponsors and participants in this event—are critical for bringing attention to crises that are affecting lives around the globe. I know we can work together to find solutions that will prevent further violence and displacement.”