MCLEAN, VA.—Hilton Worldwide and Sundance Institute announced the winners of the newly launched Hilton Worldwide LightStay Sustainability Award program, which includes $25,000 for one feature film and one in-process category winner. The prizes will be presented at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival this week. Additionally, Hilton Worldwide will screen the winning feature film, The Island President, at a special private event during the Festival. A Q&A session with director Jon Shenk will follow the screening. The Island President will be released by Samuel Goldwyn Films on March 28.
“Our partnership with Sundance Institute provides a platform for filmmakers to tell stories that can catalyze change and elevate dialogue around critical global issues,” said Christopher Corpuel, vice president of sustainability, Hilton Worldwide. “The LightStay Sustainability Award recognizes these compelling documentary projects for their ability to highlight the complexities around the challenges of living in a resource-constrained world and create inspired solutions.”
The 2012 LightStay Sustainability Award winners were chosen out of 1,500 feature-length documentaries and more than 5,000 short film entries submitted to the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program. The winning films showcase the connections between sustainability, economic growth and community development. The award winners are:
The Island President (Feature): President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives is confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced—the literal survival of his country and everyone in it. As one of the most low-lying countries in the world, a slight rise sea level would submerge the 1,200 islands enough to make them uninhabitable. A classic David and Goliath tale, The Island President captures Nasheed’s first year in office, culminating in his trip to the Copenhagen Climate Summit where the film provides an unprecedented glimpse of what takes place at such a top-level global assembly. A movie about one man’s mission to save his nation, The Island President, is a riveting, uplifting story that is impossible to ignore. Director: Jon Shenk.
Solar Mamas (In-Process Feature Film)—Three tenacious grandmothers leave their respective remote villages in Africa and the Middle East on a quest to India’s Barefoot College to learn more about solar engineering and acquire new skills that they can take back to their home lands in an effort to combat the energy crisis. Directors: Jehane Noujaim and Mona Eldaief.
Important Year-round Partnership
“Sustainability is a critical topic for many of our filmmakers,” said Cara Mertes, director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program. “This year-round partnership and awards will help support important new voices addressing these issues through documentary.”
Last month, Hilton Worldwide announced its support of Sundance Institute, a global, nonprofit organization dedicated to the discovery and development of independent artists and audiences in film and theater, and launched the Hilton Worldwide LightStay Sustainability Award program. LightStay represents Hilton Worldwide’s overarching commitment to integrating sustainability into every guest experience, which is critical to the long-term success of its business. In partnership with the Sundance Institute, the partnership supports the Institute’s Documentary Film Program and awards grants to up to five documentary film projects focusing on sustainability issues.