Sean Penn, an Academy Award winning actor and active humanitarian decided to combine his two interests at the Cannes Film Festival with a fundraising dinner held in aid and awareness for the recent natural disasters in Haiti.

Mr. Penn’s attention to Haiti expressed by this event and other’s, brought him to receive homage for his humane commitment towards the Hatian cause. He received the prize of the Annual summit of Peace, on April 25th, 2012. Mr. Penn’s efforts are ceaseless and he has gone on to host this dinner at Cannes, co-sponsored by Chopard and presented by the dressmaker Giorgio Armani on the evening of May 18th. The atmosphere of the event was contextualized and transformed by Haitian musicians who came to give a traditional and special spectacle entitled “Carnival in Cannes”. Their music root Ra Ra, created with the group RAM, is very popular in Haiti and brightened a good part of the evening.

Sponsor and respected clothing designer Giorgio Armani said, “For me  it is an honor of being able to associate with the commitment of Sean Penn for the people of Haiti. This event organized within the framework of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival is a large step for my existence, which shows what one can achieve while working with this incredible force of the nature which is Sean.”

This event paid homage to the victims of the earthquake of January 2010, culprit to the death of hundreds of thousands of Haitians. Three great associations with nonlucrative goals have gathered to help the survivors from this catastrophe. The J/P Haitian Organization Relief, founded by Sean Penn assisted in the integral rebuilding of the country with the supply of medical care, the removal of rubble and the distribution of food. The organization also assisted with the purification of water, the improvement of the communication systems, of residences and the educational establishments. “Artists for Peace and Justice” (APJ) was founded by Paul Haggis and fellow associates in 2009. Its main aim is to help children and their families in the poorest communities of Haiti by supporting programs centered on education, health and dignity. The final organization, the “Happy Hearts Fund” (HHF) created by Petra Nemcova in 2006, was founded in order to aid in the rebuilding of the schools. The funds collected throughout the evening will reach the Haitian recipients directly through the se organizations.

Sean Penn poetically declared; “One would need an award of poetry to  begin to describe the courage and the dignity of the Haitian people.”

Gilles Jacob stated, in connection with Sean Penn: “People say that a good actor is of natural egocentric personality, and that a good director is concentrated on his objective; Sean Penn is an actor and a brilliant director. What he does beyond that for the habitants of Haiti (…) inspires more of our great respect.”

The event was very profitable and its success relied partially on the pleasant setting of the party. In the spirit of aid and festivity a unique mingle of Cannes and Haitian culture filled the evening.

Gilles Jacob, the president of Cannes Film Festival was deeply impressed by Sean Penn’s efforts for the event and the Haitian people.

by Inès Josseaume

 

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