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FILManthropy Combines Charity and Education, Entertainment and Awareness

The unique fIlm festival got its start with Jodi Fung from Studio City.

Jodi Fung moved to Studio City from the Bay Area about a dozen years ago. The journalism major is also an actress. She also loves movies, and cares about people.

She found a way to merge all of her loves with the FILManthropy Festival—a unique film festival that connects filmmakers with charities and helps raise money for worthy causes as people go to the movies. They are picky about who they choose to put in the festival.

"The film has to have a good message, and we ask that the filmmaker and the audience connect with a charity of their choice," said Fung. "It is amazing then to see how people get inspired to do something."

Fung lives in Studio City where she also formed the volunteer group The Sirens Society (www.sirenssociety.org) now known as The FILManthropy Society (www.FILManthropysociety.org). She has two children, 6 and 4, and is involved in the Carpenter Community Charter School activities as well.

"I love Studio City, it's like a small community, but it's not out of touch with the rest of the city—and you can still find parking," said Fung.

Photographer of North Hollywood is on the board of the FILManthropy Society. He said, "We promote bringing attention to the overlooked social issues of the world through the amazing, far-reaching medium of film. All of our members band together to pool their resources to try to make this thing happen; and we do so every year, with a lot of love and what we like to call 'sweat equity.'" 

The organization is asking for donations, and also tickets go up on sale for the festival from May 17 - 19.

See: http://www.filmanthropyfestival.org/donate.html

All of the monies raised for the festival and during the festival go to the three winning films' charities of their choice; 45% to Best Feature, 45% to Best Short, and 10% to Audience Favorite. 

"We truly build the bridge between what people see on the screen and real awareness for these charities, resulting in tangible change on Earth," Tibbels said. "For example, our winner of Best Short a few years ago was a film about building clean water wells for communities in Cambodia who desperately needed it. With the money raised from the festival, they were able to build 9 new clean water wells. How amazing is that?"

Fung said she was particularly moved by that experience. "You could see activism taking place right there after the film screening."

Tibbels added, "We work for free to produce this festival (we all do) and we do so out of love and with true conviction that film has the ability to penetrate souls, sending a message of awareness of certain social issues, and eventually propelling people to take action to change our world."

The scheduling of the movies will be announced soon, but people can still buy passes. For more information go to www.filmanthropyfestival.org.

Johnny Ortez-Tibbels May 08, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Staging Hope has been accepted!! Tickets are on sale now at http://www.filmanthropyfestival.org/tickets.html Staging Hope: Acts of Peace in Northern Uganda is a documentary film that follows a team of actors, playwrights, and activists who use theater to help Ugandan teens share their story of resilience after being abducted and forced to become child soldiers and sex slaves in northern Uganda. The film captures the incredible humanity and emotion between the children and adults as they work together to construct dramatic theater performances based on their lives. Staging Hope is an authentic feature length documentary with personal accounts, live performances, music, and dance. It gives us a strong glimpse into the vulnerable moments and powerful bonds that connect all of us as humans, no matter where we live or what we have gone through. Staging Hope is a project of Voices in Harmony. http://www.voicesinharmonycom/ Voices in Harmony is a youth arts organization committed to empowering the voices and visions of at-risk teens. Our programs cultivate personal, academic, and artistic excellence.
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