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Yes, W.E. Cannes! The Afican Diaspora Connects@Cannes 2009
May 28, 2009

The African Diaspora: "Yes, W.E. Cannes!"
Press Release

LaHitz@Cannes' Party With Purpose

The African Diaspora Connects@Cannes

During the 62nd Cannes International Film Festival, the African Diaspora connected to celebrate art and humanitarian efforts.  San Francisco based LaHitz Media honored the work of international star, Eriq Ebouaney with the Sojourner Truth Award that is presented annually at Cannes and in Los Angeles at the Pan African Film Festival.

Cannes-Taliaferro, Mbato, Ebouaney, Jean-Lous
LaHitz Director, Jacquie Taliaferro greets Eddie Mbato, CEO South African National Film Video Foundation, and International Stars Eriq Ebouaney and Jimmy Jean-Louis (NBC's "Heroes").   (Click photo for video of presentation)

Haitian actor and star of NBC's "Heroes" presented the award to Ebouaney.  "Eriq it is my pleasure to present the Sojourner Truth Award to you on behalf of LaHitz Media in recognition of your artistic excellence and commitment to giving back to our community."

The award was presented at the South African Pavilion, the Cannes home base for National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa, headed by CEO Eddie Mbato, a previous recipient of the award that was presented by Rhamatou Kieta, internationally acclaimed Nigerian filmmaker, also a recipient of the award.

"The fact that we are here at the South African Pavilion and I stand with Eddie, a former recipient, who is putting a fire under all of Africa to grow its film industry, I appreciate the significance of this award that brings the African Diaspora together to recognize the best of the arts and humanitarian work," said Ebouaney.

"I think it is important that we also make note of the fact that Eriq was one of the celebrities to pledge support of the "Help Mama Africa" campaign said Jacquie Taliaferro, filmmaker and Director of LaHitz Media.

"Help Mama Africa was birthed over the internet in March 2009 by African Diaspora artists, filmmaker Taliaferro, international French Senegalese designer and owner of Afric' Elance, Angele De Medeiros, broadcast producer, and owner of production company Baobab Motion, and award-winning journalist, publicist, and writer Jackie Wright, principal of Wright Enterprises.   "Help Mama Africa" is a foundation with roots in the U.S., France and Senegal that has begun its work in bringing awareness and funds to the successful life-saving work of Professor Dr. Claude Moreira who saves 70 percent of the children treated for cancer at the Le Dantec Hospital in Dakar, Senegal.

Cannes-Jackie, JacquieHigh Five to Mama Africa
Jackie Wright, of W.E. & Filmmaker Jacquie Taliaferro "Help Mama Africa" Team USA,
Give a High Five to "Help Mama Africa" on French Riviera @ Cannes International Film Festival.

"This is your home," said Mbato.  "We are pleased to host the Sojourner Truth Award at the South Africa Pavilion here at Cannes as you make the international launch of the "Help Mama Africa" effort.  We stand together representing South Africa, Haiti, Cameroon, France and the United States for a worthy cause."

One of the highlights of the Cannes publicity was the recognition of the tenth anniversary of the "National Film and Video Foundation" of South Africa in a special report by the "Hollywood Reporter."  The report heralded the work of NFVF CEO, Eddie Mbato and his team as they battled skepticism and other forces to allocate grants now up to $422, 238 million.  They began allocating grants that totaled just over $1 million.  Mbato told journalist Mixie Von Bormann and the Hollywood Reporter, "The successes have been very rewarding and I am grateful that I have been a part of this journey from Day 1."  Also celebrated at the South African Pavilion was the Avalon Group's 70-year anniversary heralding cinema exhibition, content distribution, live entertainment and concerts and line production. See details at www.avalon-group.co.za.

Cannes-1-Jimmy Jean-LouisTaliaferro Interviewed by Inside Cannes

With the South African's having the reputation of having the best parties at Cannes, the South African Pavilion proved the perfect place for LaHitz Media and the Help Mama Africa humanitarian effort to party with purpose.  With interviews of Jimmy Jean-Louis and Jacquie Taliaferro by the Oscar Sharp of U.K. production company, Inside Cannes, the purpose of the party will be noted on www.insidecannes.com.  This year's activities beyond the Red Carpet of Cannes will provide the groundwork for the annual "Help Mama Africa" charity gala slated for May 2010 during the 63rd Cannes International Film Festival.

Angela, Malik and London

Fashion Designer Angele de Medeiros speaks about "Help Mama Africa" with International Star Malik Bowen & his daughter Landrine, owner of a Cannes Boutique.

"The excitement is growing," said Angele de Medeiros, French Senegalese international designer.  "With people like Pascal Mpeck, who was born in Cannes and lives in Washington, D.C., preparing specially commissioned art work for the "Help Mama Africa" campaign and so many others waiting to help, the 2010 gala is going to be spectacular."

Angela Medeiros Speaks with Pascal Mpeck
Angele de Medeiros speaks with visual artist Pascal Mpeck and his 
daughter Michelle  on La Crossiete in his hometown of Cannes.

Becaye Kanoute holds impromptu meeting with colleagues on the
Promenade de le Croisette just prior to meeting with Taliaferro &
Agora Radio Executives about Public Enemy's"Welcome to the Terrordome"
and Cameroon's first Horror flick "Wrong Preys."

Becaye Holds Brief Meeting"Working with LaHitz at The 62nd Cannes International Film Festival presenting like "Welcome to the Terrordome" and the other films by or about the African Diaspora presented by LaHitz solidified for me that Cannes is the place for an annual "Help Mama Africa," event said Becaye Kanoute, broadcast producer and owner of Baobab Motion.  "It is the perfect place to for this multicultural worldwide call for everyday stars and celebrities to "Help Mama Africa."  The campaign calls for the public to take a photo with "Help Mama Africa" on their hand and upload to www.helpmama-africa.com.
The work at Cannes also included the LaHitz@Cannes film series.  LaHitz presented films such as Public Enemy's "Welcome to the Terrordome," "This is Not a Test," and Taliaferro's own "The Promised Land" was presented for finishing funds.

Rhamatou Kieta & Nigerian Film Commissioner
Afolabi Adesanya,Nigerian Film Corporation CEO &
renowned Nigerian Fillmaker Rhamatou Kieta

Sojourner Truth Award Video

The African Diaspora Connects in Cannes Video

More Photos on Facebook

The Article on Wrightnow.biz

Becaye & Angele
"Help Mama Africa" Team Europe: Broadcast Producer Becaye Kanuote &
International Designer Angele de Medeiros lay groundwork
for "Help Mama Africa" 2010 Extravaganza!

For more information about LaHitz Media visit www.lahitz-cannes.com or www.lahitz.comFind out about "Help Mama Africa" at www.helpmama-africa.com.

Track the growth of South African Cinema at www.nfvf.co.za

Other links of interest include:

www.eriqebouaney.com,www.jimmyjeanlouis.com, www.pascalmpeck.com, www.sonrhayempire.org, www.nigfilmcorp.com,www.motionpicturehouse.com  , www.insidecannes.com,www.hollywoodreporter.com, www.iifilm.co.ukwww.tangimiller.com,www.stephenfollows.com, www.avalon-group.co.za,www.filmafrica.com, www.baobabmotion.com,www.afric-elance.com, and www.wrightnow.biz.

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