Film Honoring United Nations Hero Ken Payumo Wins 2015 Kovic Peace Prize

Ken Payumo
Ken Payumo
Contact: Wendy Milette                           FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
[email protected]
SANTA MONICA, CA 11/14/15 - The My Hero Project is pleased to announce the winner of The Ron Kovic Peace Prize.  “Defying Death in South Sudan” by Francis Mead, features hero Ken Payumo, a United Nations aid worker credited with saving thousands of lives.
When more than 80 armed soldiers demanded access to the UN compound in Bor, where more than 12,000 refugees were seeking shelter, Payumo ordered the gates of the compound closed and refused to let the soldiers inside.  The soldiers eventually left and Payumo was hailed as a hero for his brave actions.
Photo from Defying Death in South Sudan
Photo from Defying Death in South Sudan
Payumo is Chief of the Peacekeeping Operations Support Section for the Department of Safety and Security, the section responsible for overseeing the security of all UN peacekeeping missions.  A New York native, he previously served as an officer in the New York City Police Department. 
Francis Mead, the film’s producer, is a former BBC reporter who currently works as a producer for the United Nations.  Mead's ecent projects include pieces on Iraqi journalists in Baghdad, women shepherds in Somaliland, a blind tech-geek in Moscow, a housing scandal in Azerbaijan and a deaf Finnish rapper.
The MY HERO Film Festival annually bestows 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 artists and peace activists whose work shows the power of non-violent solutions to world troubles.
Ron Kovic is an accomplished author and painter who has focused his efforts on peace activism for the past 40 years.  A former Marine Corps sergeant, Kovic served two tours of duty in the Vietnam War before being wounded in combat and paralyzed from the mid-chest down. He has since become a prominent spokes-person for the anti-war movement, having 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.
This year’s Award Ceremony takes place at The MY HERO Project’s 20th Anniversary Celebration, Saturday, November 21, 2015 at the Ann and Jerry Moss Theater in Santa Monica.
Ann and Jerry Moss Theater, New Roads School
3131 Olympic Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
“Defying Death in South Sudan” and other award-winning films will be screened the evening before (November 20, 2015) in the Moss Theater from 4 – 9 PM.  
Over the last 20 years, The MY HERO Project, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become the world’s leading host of uplifting and inspiring hero stories.  MY HERO is a family friendly, award-winning online resource used by millions of teachers, parents and students in more than 194 countries.
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Page created on 11/24/2015 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 7/7/2017 10:24:46 PM

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Defying Death in South Sudan - Film by Ken Payumo - 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
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