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Hollywood Film Festival Spotlights Congo

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Hollywood Film Festival Spotlights Congo

Posted by Candice Knezevic on October 23, 2009

Tomorrow, we will recognize Matthew Smith of Bend, Oregon, who produced the COME CLEAN 4 CONGO contest’s winning video, “Life Should Be Free,” in a star-studded event at the Hollywood Film Festival.

Actor Emile Hirsch, women’s advocate Muadi Mukenge, and Enough’s own John Prendergast will discuss the world’s deadliest war in Congo as part of the Festival’s first-ever human rights symposium, which will focus on ending violence against women in Congo. Actress and COME CLEAN 4 CONGO guest judge Sonya Walger, as well as YouTube’s Steve Grove, will present Smith with his award.

Smith’s video adeptly expresses the urgency of the cause and leaves viewers with a resounding call to action that is hard to ignore.

During the panel discussion Hirsch, Mukenge, and Prendergast will talk about the ongoing conflict in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the resulting epidemic of rape, and one of the key drivers of the violence there: the illicit trade in Congo’s conflict minerals that wind up in our cell phones, laptops, and other electronics products. They will also discuss how we, as American citizens and consumers, can be a part of the solution that will bring lasting peace to Congo.

The Enough Project partnered with YouTube in May to launch the COME CLEAN 4 CONGO contest as its first-ever Video for Change campaign. Enough and YouTube challenged the YouTube community to create one minute videos that raise awareness about the link between our cell phones and the violence in Congo. We received dozens of creative and compelling videos from all over the country, and those videos received hundreds of thousands of views on True to form, the contest kick-started what has become a growing global movement to end the scourge of Congo’s conflict minerals.

So before you turn off your computer, I encourage you to take at least two minutes to make an impact for Congo. Share Smith’s video with 10 of your friends and encourage them to join the movement. As a consumer and a citizen, you are part of the solution.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area this weekend and would like to attend the Ending Violence Against Women in Congo symposium at the Hollywood Film Festival, click here to register.