Ian Somerhalder of “The Vampire Diaries” (TVD) was at the Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts (MA) on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. No, he won’t be enrolling in the prestigious school which is known worldwide for academic excellence. Somerhalder was there because he attended the Girls Impact the World 2014 Film Festival (GITW) at Harvard. The TVD star was a judge of the said film festival. This is for the Girls Impact the World (GITW) / Green Ian Somerhalder (IS) Award which is in collaboration with the Harvard College Social Innovation Collaborative and Connecther.
Somerhalder who plays the vampire Damon Salvatore on the hit CW show “The Vampire Diaries,” is looking for a female filmmaker who impacts the world by proposing solutions to environmental issues or creating awareness about it through the use of film. These issues about the environment that will be featured on the films must show how it impacts women or girls.
According to Somerhalder, he is honoured to be among brilliant female filmmakers that are out to change the world using film as their medium. He is also excited to talk to these women and hand out awards to the winners of the GITW Film Festival at Harvard. He even joked that this is the only way he can get in to Harvard.
“Young people have some of the most creative minds on the planet. I’m excited to be a judge for the Girls Impact the World Film Festival. I can’t wait to see the film submissions. I am sure that the solutions they come up with for these challenges will blow our minds!” said Somerhalder, “Vampire Diaries” actor and founder of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF).
Click HERE to see a picture of Ian Somerhalder in Harvard which was posted on his official Instagram account.
Several students submitted 3-5 minute films on environmental issues that propose solutions or create awareness about it. The submitted films must connect these issues and find out ways on how to solve an environmental problem while helping women advance in their lives. Some of the films that were submitted were “Isang Kahig, Isang Tuka: One Scratch, One Peck” by Oshin Edralin (Pasadena City College) and “Harvesting Hope” by Sarah Khan (Headstart School).
Aside from environmental issues, the other issues that the female filmmakers tackled in their movies are:
- Domestic and gendered violence
- Economic independence
- Education for Girls and Women
- Health care
- Maternal mortality
- Political participation
- Women and girls in media
- Women in Leadership
- Teen & child marriage
- Sex trafficking and slavery
Other films featured in the Girls Impact the World Film Festival include “Broken Beauty” by Jordyn Roach (University of Oregon), “A Chance” by Sarah Gale (Pine Crest School) and “she++: The Documentary” by Ayna Agarwal and Ellora Israni (Stanford University)
According to Connecther, the prizes for the winners of the GITW Film Festival are: money ($2500 for the (GITW) / Green Ian Somerhalder (IS) Award), film distribution channels via Connecther, SIC and Creative Visions networks and an internship opportunity at Creative Visions in Los Angeles, California (CA).
The Girls Impact the World 2014 Film Festival Awards Ceremony was held during the GITW Red Carpet + Screening at the Harvard University campus (Boylston Hall) in Cambridge, MA on Feb. 22, 2014.
Aside from Ian Somerhalder, the other judges of the GITW Film Festival were:
- Christy Turlington Burns (Model and Founder, Every Mother Counts)
- Pat Mitchell (President & CEO, The Paley Center for Media)
- Robb Moss (Harvard Professor Rudolf Arnheim Lecturer on Filmmaking)
- Eloise DeJoria (Actress)
- Abdulhamid Juma (Chairman; Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) and Gulf Film Festival (GFF)
- Jean Oelwang (CEO of Virgin Unite)
- Leymah Gbowee (Nobel Laureate & Founder and President of Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa)
- Maria Eitel (CEO and President of the Nike Foundation)
- Professor Muhammad Yunus (Nobel Laureate & Founder of Grameen Bank)
- Zainab Salbi (Founder and Former CEO of Women for Women)
- Jeff Skoll (Founder and Chairman of the Skoll Foundation and Participant Media)