It has been one year since the Cinema Verite International Rendezvous Film Festival awarded the 2007 Laureate Film Award to the makers of YEAR ZERO for their short film LIVING WITH LANDMINES in Paris and Monaco last October. LIVING WITH LANDMINES was created to help raise awareness for the Cambodia Landmine Museum Relief Fund (CLMRF) and was a promotional teaser for the feature length film YEAR ZERO: STORY OF A KHMER ROUGE SOLDIER. The prize provided nearly fifty thousand dollars to help fund post-production and promotion for Year Zero.
On the anniversary of the event this October 8-12th, Year Zero’s executive producer Richard Fitoussi was invited to attend the 2008 Cinema Verite Film Festival in Geneva and Paris where he was asked to speak about the responsibility of film to promote global humanitarian awareness. Richard arrived from Japan earlier that day where he was speaking about the film and the Cambodia Landmine Museum Relief Facility at the Six International Conference for Museums of Peace at the Kyoto Peace Museum. Following the speech a ten minute preview of selected scenes from Year Zero was shown to an exclusive audience both in Geneva and Paris. The Geneva gala dinner was held at the prestigious President Wilson Hotel and at the Bastille Opera House in Paris. During the events Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan spoke about the film’s impact to bring about action that will positively affect those who are suffering in the world.
Also in attendance were this years Cinema Verite award winners who included Nobel Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai, Erin Gruwell (portrayed by Hillary Swank in the film FREEDOM WRITERS), Golden Globe award winning director Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now), and director Jeremy Gilley (THE DAY AFTER PEACE). The 2008 Cinema Verite Guests of Honor included Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, and Richard Jenkins (SIX FEET UNDER, THE VISITOR). It also included legendary humanitarian Sir Bob Geldof, the driving force behind the LIVE 8 concerts for third world debt relief in 2005 and the 1984 Band Aid concert to rescue the starving in Ethiopia.