Ron Kovic is an accomplished author, painter, and activist who has worked for world peace over the last 40 years. As a former Marine Corps sergeant, he served two tours of duty in the Vietnam War before being wounded in combat and paralyzed from the mid-chest down. He went on to become a prominent spokes-person for the anti-war movement, having since addressed the Democratic National Convention in 1976, President Obama and other dignitaries at the 32nd annual Kennedy Center Honors Ceremony in 2009, and Rome's Mayor Gianni Alemanno and other civic leaders as a member of Council for Dignity, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation in 2010.
The MY HERO Film Festival is honored to annually bestow the Ron Kovic Peace Award to the director of the short film that most effectively addresses the issue of world peace. The accompanying $1000 cash prize supports the critical efforts of artists and peace activists whose work shows the power of non-violent solutions to our world's troubles.
At 15, Dragan Kisin was beating kids up, drinking, and getting in all sorts of trouble. His father had left home to avoid gambling debts, and his mother was in despair. Then Dragan joined the Be a Man club in Bosnia and Herzegovina's Banja Luka. He is now a community leader and non-violence advocate.
By Liz Mermin
Defying Death in S. Sudan
You are an unarmed UN civilian in charge of a compound where 12000 people have fled for safety. You are confronted by 80 armed soldiers and a government minister demanding to enter the compound. You know they will almost certainly kill people if they get in. What do you do?
By Taqi Juba
Blessed is the Peacemaker
A lot of youth in Baltimore City either fall victim or lose a loved one to gun violence. Blessed is the Peacemaker is a short film developed by Wide Angle Youth Media's Mentoring Video Project. The video shows the impact of an organization called Safe Streets, an outreach program that fights to prevent gun violence and homicides in many communities throughout Baltimore, and profiles their leading member, Tard Carter.
By Taqi Juba
Moral Courage: Stopping shootings in Brooklyn before they start
Kenneth is a part of the Save Our Streets organization, and he uses his own experiences with violence to prevent it from happening to the youths of Crown Heights.
Produced by Adam Grannick
Right To Play [Excerpt]
Instead of cashing in on his Olympic haul, Johann Olav Koss embarked on a remarkable journey that has established him as one of the world's greatest ambassadors of sports. As the founder, President and CEO of Right To Play, Koss and his army of volunteers, teachers, coaches and diplomats have used the power of athletics to elevate the lives of the world's neediest children. This film is the winner of The Ron Kovic Peace Prize and Best of Fest in the 2012 MY HERO International Film Festival. Director Frank Marshall had this response: “Johann and his organization are literally heroes to children in need around the globe,” he stated. “So it’s extremely appropriate and a great honor to accept these two awards from The MY HERO Project on behalf of our film on Johann Olav Koss and his incredible organization, Right to Play.”
By Frank Marshall
Azim Khamisa: The Tool of Forgiveness
A father whose son is killed in a shooting finds it in himself to forgive the family of the teen who murdered his son. He goes on to create foundation in his son's memory, the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, raises awareness and engages youth to resist a culture of violence and learn to live in harmony with one another.
By The Institute for Advancing Unity/The Working Group
Let Them Bloom
Fauzia’s film Let Them Bloom tells the story of a peace mural, created by children from a refugee camp in Islamabad. The children’s artwork offers a compelling call for peace amidst an environment of violence.
By Fauzia Minallah of Pakistan
The grade 5 class in Bradford Ontario Canada asked their global partners "How do you imagine Peace?" These are the images from Canada, USA, Australia, East Jerusalem, Iraq, Iran, Taiwan and Afghanistan, compiled together by the Dreamteam.
By Mali Bickley & The Dreamteam
Peace it Together: Freedom
Produced by Illy Auerbach,
Mohammed Qassas, Jeremy Izso
Everest: A Climb for Peace (excerpt) Produced by Lance Trumbull
Peace begins within.
By Sharif Christopher Matar & Erik Takagi Butts
..Click below to watch Ron's powerful introduction to the film "Salam"