The UCLA Burkle Global Impact Initiative has teamed with the nonprofit arts organization Film Independent to create the Film Independent Humanitarian Award, which recognizes an individual in the world of film and TV whose work has demonstrated a deep commitment to humanitarian causes. The inaugural award will be presented to media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner on June 12.
Turner will be recognized for his global humanitarian work, particularly his support of the United Nations Foundation, which he established with a $1 billion gift in 1997. The foundation engages businesses and nongovernmental organizations in addressing global issues like climate change, health, poverty and women’s empowerment and sponors initiatives linking the creative community, the U.N. and media organizations worldwide.
"The Burkle Center is excited to partner with Film Independent on this award, which is already raising the visibility of the Global Impact Initiative and its goals," said Kal Raustiala, director of the Burkle Center and associate vice provost for international studies at UCLA. "There could be no more appropriate winner of the inaugural award than Ted Turner, who has had a huge impact in the fields of entertainment and media and whose deep generosity made the U.N. Foundation possible."
The Burkle Global Impact Initiative was established by the Burkle Center for International Relations at UCLA in early 2013. The initiative works with content creators in Hollywood to incorporate more storylines about global issues into their work, such as those in the movie "Hotel Rwanda," with its depiction of the Rwandan genocide, or TV shows like "Chance of a Lifetime," which focused on the U.N.’s Millenium Development Goals.
The initiative is made possible through the support of the Burkle Center’s namesake, Ron Burkle, and is headed by Brian Gott, the former publisher of the entertainment newspaper Variety and a member of the U.N. Foundation's Global Entrepreneurs Council.
Film Independent champions independent films and sees social-impact storytelling and shining a light on humanitarian causes as part of its mandate. This focus is reflected in the organization’s annual labs, its programming at the Los Angeles Film Festival and the films that are recognized at the Spirit Awards.
The Film Independent Humanitarian Award ceremony will take place at a private dinner at the home of Ron Burkle in Beverly Hills, California.