Saturday, May 10, 2008

Today Was Pangea Day, And Now I Have Reason To Hope Again

TED, the conference that brings together the world's smartest, most important, creative and inspiring people to speak to us and tell us their stories... has done it again. They gave the TED Award to documentary filmmaker Jehane Noujaim in 2006 for her plan to put to the masses a global call for short films to be included in her ambitious concept — the first cross-cultural film festival ever broadcast live around the world. It happened today in case you didn't know... and it was called Pangea Day.

More than 2,500 submissions poured in from 100 countries — entries by established and first-time filmmakers, some shot entirely by mobile phone. 24 films were selected and simulcast in more than 1,500 venues around the world from Rio to Chicago, Rwanda to Mumbai... some 150 countries around the world in a 4-hour program. (Pangea is the name of the first ancient continent where all of our current continents originated from... symbolizing unity and the fact that we here on planet earth are one people... divided only by the walls and borders we create in our minds.)

I think the number that watched must have been in the many millions. Queen Noor of Jordan was one of the hosts, even Meg Ryan and Goldie Hawn made appearances sporting the same hairdo.

"Cast as a global campfire, the event bets that if folks of different religions and cultures huddle around to listen to each others' stories, they'll find a commonality they might not have expected."

I knew this was going to be a special day, but I did not realize how moved I would be by the event itself, the technological achievement, the quality and immensity of the messages presented in the films and then of course... seeing Dave Steward perform, founder of the Eurithmics perform. I watched with my dear friend Donnie from a lecture hall in Baruch College and I must have cried enough to create a river down Lexington Avenue. Think today wasn't an important event? Google "Pangea Day".... you'll get around 1.9 million hits now. Who knows how many by tomorrow as people talk about on the web from all over the world.

Information on what happened today is here. And what follows is a link to a highlight reel that the event provided in NO TIME that is worth every second of YOUR time to watch in wonder as we did.

Jehane Noujaim, you will forever live in my heart because of this day... and I think all of the millions and millions who were a part of it are forever changed as well... I think we took a real step forward in changing the world for the better. Jehane, continue to lead and guide us, we need so much help.

I feel real hope for the future today!!

Highlight Reel, Click ME

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1 comment:

Kyra D. Gaunt, Ph.D. said...

Hey Bruce,
Great post. As I watched the highlights video I noticed things I didn't when we watched yesterday. The scene of a boy facing the camera while his father spoke of wanting him to lead the Sudan one day. The boy had no arms but I was oblivious to that on Sat. Reminds me how numb to reality we sometimes are. While Pangea Day is a great day for awakening, there is much to be present to that we have not and are still not willing to see, hear, feel, and contribute to.