|Actor Simon Pegg hosted the charity screening
LONDON - British Filipinos from the media industry joined Hollywood actor Simon Pegg at a charity screening of "Beasts of the Southern Wild" in aid of Oxfam, a global charity supporting communities worldwide including the Philippines.
The fundraising event marked the DVD launch of the film, which has been nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress for its nine-year-old lead, Quvenzhane Wallis.
Hundreds of cinema fans came out to support the event at the May Fair Hotel in central London, hosted by Pegg, who was recently seen in blockbuster series "Mission Impossible" and "Star Trek."
“I love the film, Beasts of the Southern Wild. I thought it was a superb film and a beautiful use of cinema. And also it’s in aid of Oxfam, which is a vital charity and has been doing incredible work on a global scale for many years and it’s important that it continues,” Pegg told ABS-CBN News at the event.
He added: “Every human being is entitled to basic food and water. We are a world of plenty. There’s a lot of resources in the planet, and there is no reason why everyone shouldn’t get some of that.”
Pegg, who previously worked with Oxfam in the Fair Trade campaign, remarked on the power of cinema to create a positive impact on good causes.
|Hollywood star Simon Pegg talks to the press about films and good causes
“I sometimes feel like cinema, as an art form, is underused to its full potential. We see a lot of sensational, childish stuff on the silver screen and I love that kind of stuff. But it’s also an amazing tool for genuine art, for stuff that makes you think and makes you re-evaluate your own opinions or challenge your beliefs,” he explained.
“It shouldn’t always be that easy to watch a film, you should sometimes find it hard, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s not to say that this film is not entertaining, it is, but it also has a very serious heart, a very grown up heart. And it’s important that we maintain that, and that cinema doesn’t just become the preserve of comic book heroes and spaceships.”
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" is a fantasy drama following the story of a young girl and her struggle for survival against the odds, facing poverty, natural disasters, global warming, family issues, and mythical creatures.
“We thought this screening would be perfect because we’d help fundraise for Oxfam to help with disasters and poverty in other parts of the world that we might not be able to reach, which are similar themes that run in the film,” said Monica Macasieb, a British-Filipina from StudioCanal, distributors of the film in the UK.
|Oxfam supports women's rights in the Philippines. Photo Courtesy of Oxfam
Oxfam is a UK-based non-profit organization providing social development and emergency assistance worldwide. With its global army of volunteers, they help provide education, health care, food, medicine and clean water to impoverished communities.
According to its website, the charity has so far helped 780,000 people to grow more food locally, and five million people to gain access to clean water, as well as train two million people about women’s rights.
In the Philippines, Oxfam has been helping communities since 1987, focusing on social projects, women’s rights and aid for natural disasters, including recent typhoons in the Mindanao region.
In 2010-2011 alone, the charity claims to have helped 75,000 Filipinos across its various projects in the country.
“Oxfam is an amazing charity to support. Philippines is a worldwide and third-world country, so it’s great to support something that is also known with Oxfam,” said Lorraine Manalo, a British-Filipina from Sony Pictures Entertainment, who came out to support the event.
For more information about Oxfam, visit http://www.oxfam.org.uk/.
Beasts of the Southern Wild is out now on DVD and Blu-Ray.