Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
12/6/2005 7:46:19 AM
The UNITED music video, which screened in September at Hollywood's Arclight Theater Los Angeles International Short Film Festival to thunderous applause, has now taken the Slate Award for best music video at the 2005 California Independent Film Festival. Classed as a short film, UNITED has already copped top awards in more than a dozen film festivals, including the Gandhi Cultural 3rd International Film Festival in Spain, the Giglio D'Oro Film Festival in Italy and the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival.
At its debut during an international youth summit held at the United Nations headquarters, the New York Office High Commissioner for Human Rights called UNITED "a huge step forward for human rights education." Add subtitling in 15 languages accomplished with support from the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology, it has been able to spread its message to discos in Spain, soccer stadiums in Italy, even electronics stores in Hungary and Russia. In addition to honors, kudos have poured in from many notables, including the Prince of Monaco, the Governor of California and the Mayor of Los Angeles. Add to that a long list of police, community and youth groups in dozens of countries seeking to spread its peaceful answers and UNITED is transformed into a virtual human rights movement powered by a hip-hop rhythm that appears to be reaching everyone.
Out of thousands of short films vying for honors, UNITED has proven it has what it takes to stand out. "This production required a 45,000-mile world tour covering four continents and 13 countries. It engaged two thousand volunteers and 150 actors who contributed their time to a global endeavor," says Leslie Brown, UNITED's producer. "With a director and crew that consisted mostly of teenagers and pre-teens, it was truly a youth project," Brown added. Director Taron Lexton, founder of TXL Films, was 19 years old when he shot UNITED in 2004.
Though global in scope, the story depicts an inner-city kid with a heart for basketball (played by 11-year-old Andre Boydon). He is confronted by a gang of bullies and their leader (Eric Forte), and must fight for his right to play. "What makes UNITED a great human rights video is how Boydon's character accomplishes this without violence and how he involves the whole world to win," says Brown.
The UNITED music video was commissioned by Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) to accompany a new theme song designed to teach human rights to youth. In a recent interview, the President of YHRI, Mary Shuttleworth, said, "Human rights is something I feel very passionate about. As humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard stated, 'Human rights must be made a fact, not and idealistic dream.'" The film features cameo performances by lsaac Hayes, Erika Christensen, Jenna Elfman, Catherine Bell, and Linsey Bartilson. For more information about UNITED log on to www.unitedmusicvideo.org.
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