For those of you who don't know Ethan Zohn, he's that cute-as-a-button, soccer-playing guy who won survivor Africa not so long ago. What you may not know about Ethan is that his father died of colon cancer and he's been in touch about working on colon "stuff."
He sent this to me this morning and although it doesn't have anything to do with colons (hey, even I need a break from colons every now and again), I thought you might like to see what he's up to. It's pretty cool.
See below, his letter and press release.
I want to give you a heads up regarding the premiere of the documentary
film, A Closer Walk, Academy Award nominee Robert Bilheimer’s film
about the Global AIDS epidemic. It will be broadcast nationally on PBS
August 31, 2006, at 9 PM (Check local listings). The PBS airing marks
the 80-minute documentary’s US television debut.
As you may remember since being declared the winner of Survivor:
Africa, I co-founded Grassroot Soccer, a non-profit organization which
trains Africa’s professional soccer players to teach children about
Myself and Grassroot Soccer are featured in A Closer Walk along with
the Dalai Lama, Bono and Kofi Annan. Will Smith and Glenn Close
narrate. Musical contributions by Annie Lennox, the Neville Brothers,
Eric Clapton and Sade. Everyone at Grassroot Soccer is extremely
excited, because it brings to light this global crisis.
I have attached the press release as for you to take a look at. If
there is some way that you can mention the airing to all your friends
or anyone you feel would be interested, I would really appreciate it.
This can be your contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
August 10, 2006
GLOBAL AIDS FILM A CLOSER WALK TO AIR ON PBS
Critically acclaimed documentary features segment with Grassroot Socccer’s Ethan Zohn
A Closer Walk, Academy Award nominee Robert Bilheimer’s film about the global AIDS epidemic, will be broadcast nationally on PBS Thirteen/WNET in New York on Tuesday, August 15, at 10 pm., and will then be broadcast nationwide on Thursday, August 31, at 9 pm. (check
local listings). The PBS airing marks the 80-minute documentary’s US television debut.
Narrated by Glenn Close and Will Smith, A Closer Walk features cinematography by Richard D. Young, interviews with the Dalai Lama, Bono, Kofi Annan and Grassroot Soccer’s Ethan Zohn. Musical contributions feature Annie Lennox, the Neville Brothers, Eric Clapton, and Sade.
About Grassroot Soccer (GRS)
Grassroot Soccer, a NGO founded in 2002, harnesses the power of soccer in the fight against AIDS. GRS uses the popularity of soccer to reach adolescents through its effective AIDS prevention curriculum. GRS offers adolescents a program that teaches HIV awareness and prevention, and one that empowers the children to break down cultural barriers and bring their communities together around this important issue. GRS currently maintains flagship sites in Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Using the power of soccer in the fight against AIDS, Grassroot Soccer provides African youth with the skills and support to live HIV free.
Grassroot Soccer’s approach is to take advantage of African youths’ interest in soccer to educate them in the causes of HIV/AIDS and change their behavior. Dr. Thomas Clark, a Dartmouth and Dartmouth Medical School graduate, created a games-based and soccer-based curriculum aimed at increasing knowledge about HIV transmission and prevention, increasing children’s confidence that they can protect themselves and decreasing the stigma associated with discussing HIV. By implementing the GRS soccer-based curriculum in a variety settings, GRS targets African youth who are at the highest risk for HIV infection and uses soccer as a means to engage the children to promote prevention messages.
The largest direct impact of the GRS program is clearly the thousands of children that participate in the GRS curriculum. In addition, the families and friends who share in the learning with the students at home and in the community are also directly affected by the organization’s work. The
education of the entire community brings to light another important impact, increased selfconfidence and creation of future leaders. The children participating in the curriculum are empowered with the confidence of knowing the right path to take to avoid HIV infection. In
addition, with their newfound knowledge, confidence and respect among their peers, the graduates grow to become leaders within the community. The GRS beneficiaries no longer see a one-way path to disease and death, and instead dream of a healthy future filled with opportunities
About A Closer Walk
Filmed on four continents over a period of three years, A Closer Walk depicts the realities of global AIDS, and explores the relationship between health, dignity, and human rights.
“The whole point”, says Bilheimer, “was to level the playing field in terms of what we all-- as a human family-- understand about AIDS. Making a film that would somehow engage people around the world on this issue was obviously a challenge on the creative side. But the equal challenge, on the distribution side, was to put the movie in front of, literally, hundreds of millions of people. We are going to achieve that this year.”
Since its premiere at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2003, A Closer Walk has been broadcast nationally on South African television (SABC 1), and Canadian television (CBC). Agreements to air the film on CCTV (China), and Doordarshan (India), on World AIDS Day,
December 1, 2006, are being finalized.
Featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, A Closer Walk has also screened at Lincoln Center in New York City, and at regional premieres in Kansas City, Boston, San Francisco, and Miami. The United Nations and other agencies have sponsored premieres and distribution programs in
Ukraine, India, South Africa, Cambodia, and Thailand. The film has been shown at hundreds of schools and college campuses around the world, and been used as a primary education and awareness tool by advocacy groups, corporations, the United Nations, the US State Department,
and prominent AIDS organizations including amfAR, The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and South Africa’s Treatment Access Campaign. The Oprah Winfrey Show featured excerpts from A Closer Walk on World AIDS Day broadcasts in 2004 and 2005.
The PBS broadcast of A Closer Walk is sponsored by General Motors and HSBC. Principal production funding for the film was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, General Motors, Eastman Kodak, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Edgebrook Foundation.
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White River Jct., VT 05001
phone: (802) 295 2004
fax: (802) 295-1152