Contact : Jeanne Meyers FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Co-founder/Director MY HERO Project
ZUCKERBERG AND MARANTZ WIN MY HERO HONORS FOR FACEBOOK STORIES
LOS ANGELES, CA – 12/08/14 - The MY HERO Project is honored to present the 2014 MY HERO Media Award to Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg and filmmaker Michael Marantz for their artistic and technological contributions that have brought people of the world closer together.
Michael Marantz is an filmmaker with a mission: to help people feel alive. He credits his battle with cancer, at age 21, as giving him an appreciation for life that he feels he would not have had otherwise. His company “Already Alive” is a collective of storytellers who share stories of humanity through film.
Mark Zuckerberg is one the founders of the online social media networking website Facebook, which started in 2004. To celebrate its tenth anniversary, Facebook commissioned ten short films about people who have connected through Facebook. One of those films, “The Conditioned,” was directed by Marantz.
The film features Raimundo Arrudo Sobrinho, a homeless poet in São Paulo, Brazil. For nearly 35 years, Sobrinho occupied the same spot in a public area, where he would work on his writing. A young woman was touched by his poetry and vowed to help him achieve his dream of publishing a book.
She started a Facebook page to show publish Sobrinho's profound poems. It drew the attention of many people including Sobrinho's brother, whom he had not seen for 57 years. The brothers reunited and, today, Sobrinho lives with his brother, and his brother's family, while continuing his writing.
“Using media and technology, Michael Marantz beautifully tells the story of community building that results in a family being reunited through poetry, compassion and love," said Jeanne Meyers, Co-founder and Director of The MY HERO Project. "Mark Zuckerberg and his team at Facebook have committed to bringing stories like this to the media with their special 10th anniversary project “!0 FACEBOOK STORIES.” Each film that they commissioned for this special series is really a wonderful example of the power of media, art and technology to transform and improve lives.”
MY HERO also honored Zuckerberg for Internet.org, his global partnership aimed at bringing the Internet to the estimated two thirds of the world's population that does not have access. Through Internet.org, local communities, technology leaders, nonprofit organizations and experts work together to bridge this communication gap.
“The vision that Mark Zuckerberg has shown to bridge the digital divide via Internet.org is something we at MY HERO applaud," said Meyers. "After working online since 1995, sharing stories of hope and inspiration with students around the globe, we are all too familiar with the challenges faced by teachers in developing countries trying to gain access to information and technology. We have such an opportunity to learn from one another. Making the internet freely accessible to everyone is something that will enrich all of our lives. Thank you FACEBOOK and thank you Michael Marantz for shining a light on these unsung heroes.”
The MY HERO Project is a non-profit [501(c)3] organization with a mission to celebrate and honor the world's heroes. Each year, the prestigious Media Award is given to a person or organization that has made great contributions on a global basis.