2022 MHIFF Virtual Special Awards Ceremony

by MY HERO Media from Laguna Beach, CA

149225MY HERO International Film FestivalMY HERO 

CONTACT: Wendy Milette                                               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Festival Director 
MY HERO International Film Festival
[email protected]


SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 – LAGUNA BEACH, CA – The Special Awards Ceremony of The MY HERO International Film Festival will take place online November 19, 2022, at 2 pm (PST). These awards honor filmmakers with exceptional hero-themed work in the areas of activism, peace, youth reporters, family relationships, women transforming media, poetry, music, ocean conservation, and technological innovation. 

Winning films will be announced and celebrated and clips of selected shorts will be screened at the virtual event, hosted by MY HERO board member Eva Haller, as part of her ongoing Eva Haller Salon Series

Special Awards include:

The Dan Eldon Activist Award – named for Dan Eldon, an activist, photojournalist and artist who dared to tell the stories that were not being told. Sadly, in 1993, at the age of 22, Dan was stoned to death by an angry mob while working on assignment in Somalia. His mother Kathy Eldon and his sister Amy Eldon Turteltaub continue Dan's legacy through Creative Visions Foundation. They present the annual award to honor creative activists using media to create positive change.

The Eva Haller Women Transforming Media Award shines a light on women who are using media to change the world. Holocaust survivor, philanthropist and mentor Eva Haller received the inaugural WTM Award in 2016, an event that inspired her to sponsor the annual award. The Eva Haller Women Transforming Media Award honors women who use media to promote gender equality.

The Relationships First Award, presented each year by Judith Anderson, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychiatry at UCI College of Medicine. She founded the nonprofit Foundation for the Contemporary Family, which sponsors the award, which goes to a student and/or professional filmmaker, whose work reflects the issues surrounding today’s families.

The WOJ Youth Reporter Award is presented by Esther Wojcicki (WOJ), an esteemed author and educator, who ran an award-winning journalism program at Palo Alto High School for 30 years. Her nonprofit Tract - Project-based Learning is designed to spark creativity in the classroom and sponsors the Youth Reporter Award at the MY HERO International Film Festival. 

The Ron Kovic Peace Prize is presented by activist, artist and author Ron Kovic, who has been an outspoken advocate for peace for more than 50 years. When combat in Vietnam left him paralyzed from mid-chest down and, he shared his story in a best-selling autobiography Born on the Fourth of July, which director Oliver Stone made into an Academy Award-winning motion picture starring Tom Cruise. Each year Ron chooses the winner of The Ron Kovic Peace Prize, which he presents to a filmmaker whose work celebrates those working locally and globally for peace.  

MY HERO's Immersive Storytelling Award goes to a storyteller who creates innovative Virtual Reality content that promotes creativity, engagement, activism & social good. Previous winners include Project Syria by Nonny de la Peńa, Bella Gaia by Kenji Williams and The Walk Again Project led by Dr. Miguel Nicolelis. The MY HERO Project Sponsors this award.

The Unsung Heroes Song Contest is a partnership of The MY HERO Project and Guitars in the Classroom that celebrates local and global heroes with original songs, music videos, or spoken-word poems. Prizes are awarded to teachers, students and professional songwriters.

The Mattie Stepanek Poetic Film Prize is named for the young best-selling poet and peace activist, who touched the hearts of millions during his brief brief but spectacular life. He died at age 13 of dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy, a condition similar to muscular dystrophy. Mattie’s mother Jeni Stepanek, Ph.D, founder of the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation, will present the inaugural prize to the student or professional creator of a short poetic video.

The Sylvia Earle Ocean Conservation Award is presented annually on World Ocean’s Day to filmmakers who shine a light on heroes who are working to protect the world’s oceans. The Award is named for Dr. Sylvia Earle, a world-renowned marine biologist, author of more than 200 publications, and explorer, who has led more than 100 expeditions. It is sponsored by MacGillivray-Freeman Films’ Educational Foundation's One World One Ocean campaign. The winner is chosen by Barbara MacGillivray, the organization’s Director of Partner Outreach, and her team. 

To attend this special event, please email your request to [email protected]

Also, join us for The MY HERO International Film Festival's Family-Friendly Awards Celebration on December 10, 2022, at 10 am (PST).  If you are interested in joining us for this special event, please email your request to [email protected].

Cast your vote for the 2022 People’s Choice Award! The online ballot will be available on the MY HERO website from Oct. 7-Nov. 7, for students, teachers and families who want to explore the theme of heroism and the art of filmmaking.

Submissions for the 2023 festival will open January 1, 2023. 




Page created on 9/7/2022 4:54:14 PM

Last edited 12/8/2022 12:35:09 AM

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