Pakistani artist and peace activist, Fauzia Minallah, has won ‘2010 Ron Kovic Peace Award’ for her short film ‘Let Them Bloom.’ Ron Kovic selected this film because of its inspirational message of peace, dignity, reconciliation and forgiveness. Fauzia’s film ‘Let Them Bloom’ tells the story of a peace mural, created by children from a squatter settlement in Islamabad. The children’s artwork offers a compelling call for peace amidst an environment of violence. The 2010 Ron Kovic Peace Award was presented at the MY HERO Film Festival on November 20.
Ron Kovic is an accomplished author, painter, and activist, who has been working for world peace for 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 paralysed from the mid-chest down. He went on to become a prominent spokesperson for the anti-war movement.
Addressing the Democratic National Convention, President Obama and other dignitaries at the 32nd annual Kennedy Centre, Kovic shared his experiences and realizations in the memoir ‘Born on the 4th of July, then co-wrote the Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning screenplay-adaptation with Oliver Stone.
The MY HERO Film Festival annually presents 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. The mission of MY HERO is to use media and technology to celebrate the best of humanity and to empower young people to realize their own potential to effect positive change in the world.
The award ceremony was held at the Ray Stark Family Theatre in USC’s George Lucas Building. Fauzia was unable to attend the ceremony due to visa issues, but her acceptance speech was screened and the Executive Director of the Artmile Mural Project USA Joanne Twafilis received the award on Fauza’s behalf.
Known for her work on peace and environment, Fauzia Minnallah is an artist, author, political cartoonist and peace activist. In 2001, she founded the Funkor Child Art Centre in Islamabad, a non-profit organisation with a mission to promote children’s art and improve literacy in Pakistan. Fauzia’s work in enriching young minds through art and book reading has been acknowledged nationally and internationally. She won National Book Foundation Award 2003 for promotion of children’s literature. She was leading the team of ‘Sadako’s Prayer Project’, a book written and illustrated by Fauzia Minallah that won of Hiroshima Citizen’s Award in 2007. The book has also been translated in Dari for Afghan children and Japanese as well.
The Funkor Child Art Centre was short listed for the Bremen Peace award 2009. The award is given to projects and organizations which are exemplary in their work for peace, justice and integrity of creation. ‘Iqra’— A Prayer for the Girls of Afghanistan and Pakistan’ by Fauzia won third prize at the My Hero Project short film festival in 2009. This film promotes the education of the girl child in Afghanistan and Pakistan through Mural Art.
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