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Dubai Media TV: Better World Fund Impact at the 80th Venice Film Festival

Dubai Media TV: Better World Fund Impact at the 80th Venice Film Festival

Venice, September 11th, 2023 - Amidst the glitz and glamour of the 80th Venice Film Festival, also known as La Mostra, which took place on September 7th and 8th, 2023, the Better World Fund (BWF) took center stage. Over 300 prominent individuals graced the Ca' Sagredo Hotel and La Scuola Grande Della Misericordia di Venezia, including celebrated figures such as Isabelle Huppert, Jeremy Piven, Euzhan Palcy, Tom Volf, Keira Chaplin, Nadia Farès, Elisabeth Moreno, Joyce El-Khoury, and many more. Their collective mission: to champion "Women Empowerment" through the lens of Cinematic Art, all in the service of humanity.

Since its inception in 2016, the Paris-based non-profit organization, Better World Fund, has been orchestrating prestigious international events and inspiring cultural initiatives through concrete actions. Once again this year, the opulent settings of the Ca' Sagredo Hotel and the Misericordia di Venezia played host to influential figures from around the world, united by their passion to shape a brighter future for our society.

Nadia Fares, Emmanuel Collas de La Roche, Élisabeth Moreno
Emmanuel Collas de La Roche, Tom Volf, Joyce El Khoury

In the words of Manuel Collas de la Roche, President and Founder of Better World Fund, "In the enchanting realm of La Mostra, BWF's Venice edition stands as a celebration of women and a platform to raise awareness about their pivotal role in the film industry. We firmly believe that cinema plays a vital role as a conduit for social, educational, and environmental values. Therefore, it is imperative to continue supporting and promoting women's involvement in every facet of the film industry to foster a more equitable and inclusive society."

A Gala Evening, held on September 8th at La Scuola Grande Della Misericordia, was graced by luminaries such as Isabelle Huppert, Jeremy Piven, and Soprano Joyce El-Khoury, who lent their support to the cause of Women Empowerment in homage to Maria Callas. Euzhan Palcy, a renowned filmmaker, was honored during the event. Her legacy, which includes an honorary Oscar, the first Silver Lion at the 1983 Venice Mostra by a Black director, and a historic César Award for Best First Work, has left an indelible mark on the world of cinema. Palcy's work continues to inspire filmmakers, artists, and writers, earning her prestigious accolades such as Medals of Honor from the Society of Dramatic Arts and Composers in France and the French National Assembly.

Emmanuel Collas de La Roche, Cateno De Luca, Valentina Castellani

For this edition, centered around the theme of "Women's Empowerment," Better World Fund threw its support behind the Maria Callas Foundation in honor of her centenary. The foundation's mission, to collect archives from around the world, including private collections and donations, is aimed at building a museum collection. Mrs. Diane Kalogeropoulos, Maria Callas's great-niece, graced the event with her presence, commemorating the legendary artist's memory.

Tom Volf, a leading authority on Maria Callas, presented his latest film, co-directed with Monica Bellucci, following the success of "Maria by Callas" in 2017, which became an award-winning documentary and the most-watched French-produced film globally in 2018. The collaboration between Tom Volf, Monica Bellucci, and the foundation's archive curation further emphasized the event's overarching theme of empowerment.

Valentina Castellani, Emmanuel Collas de La Roche, Tom Volf, Joyce El Khoury
Anna Sanachina

On September 8th, at 10:00 am, in La Scuola Grande Della Misericordia, Better World Fund conducted a Masterclass Conference titled "From Script to Screen: Empowering Women in the World of Cinema." President Manuel Collas de la Roche highlighted the importance of offering women diverse and complex roles in cinema, creating positive role models that challenge traditional norms and promote women's empowerment, thus contributing to a more egalitarian and inclusive society. The masterclass was moderated by Mrs. Elisabeth Moreno, President of Tech-Foundation and former Minister in charge of Gender Equality, Diversity, and Equal Opportunities, who led discussions with influential women and experts in their respective fields dedicated to advancing the place, protection, and equality of women in our society.

The panel discussion on "Empowering Women in the World of Cinema" featured notable participants such as Nadia Fares, Yasemin Samdereli, Kiera Chaplin, Tarina Patel, Valentina Castellani, and Euzhan Palcy. Individual speakers also contributed to the discourse on "Empowering Women in the World of Business & Philanthropy," with insights from Dr. Solanges Vivens, Karine Gros, and Lorène Ferrandès.

The same day culminated in a Gala Dinner held in the splendid hall of La Scuola Grande Della Misericordia, featuring a rich artistic program with performances by Maria Elena Infantino, an international singer and actress with a unique connection to Maria Callas; Anna Sanachina, a dramatic soprano of the great Italian operatic tradition; and Daniel Alhaiby, a distinguished professional flutist, composer, and arranger. The evening included an award ceremony and an auction.

As is the tradition at each edition, the Better World Fund recognized individuals dedicated to social, cultural, and environmental causes. Honorees for this Venice Edition included Samia Yusuf Omar, posthumously, for her courageous fight against discrimination as a Muslim woman participating in the Olympic Games; Elisabeth Moreno; Jeremy Piven; Euzhan Palcy; Soprano Joyce El-Khoury; and Sindaco Onorevole Cateno De Luca, all of whom received the Better World Best Achievement and Commitments Awards. Dr. Solanges Vivens also received an award presented by Anwar Elkamony as the official Charity Partner of the Better World Fund.

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