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ILLUMINATE Film Festival celebrates women’s voices in action with 1000 Acts of Courage


Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo


Originally Published: December 17, 2018 10:42 a.m.

ILLUMINATE Film Festival announces 1000 Acts of Courage, a community-building statewide social action campaign to inspire one thousand courageous acts for the well-being, empowerment and equality of girls and women.

1000 Acts of Courage is a campaign inspired by the film This Changes Everything, a feature documentary that is a powerful call to action for changing the current patriarchal paradigm to an inclusive gender-equal society. The campaign launches Dec. 20.

“Ever since the 2017 Women’s March, we’ve watched women across the country rise in record numbers to speak up, vote, run for office, and fuel movements like #Time’sUp and #MeToo” says Danette Wolpert, ILLUMINATE Film Festival Executive Director. “We at ILLUMINATE aim to activate and honor those in our Arizona community who are taking courageous action to make a difference on behalf of girls and women.”

ILLUMINATE Film Festival invites everyone, women and men, to share their personal acts of courage toward women’s empowerment in the celebration of the female spirit in overcoming adversity, uniting as a larger community, and inspiring gender equity. ILLUMINATE’s aim is to record 1,000 or more acts of courage.

The purpose of 1,000 Acts of Courage is to honor the actions of everyday people, who in spite of the risk or feeling of discomfort, overcome their fears, speak up and take action to alleviate injustices and expand opportunities for girls and women to contribute and influence our world.

“Courage looks different on everyone. It’s finding yourself at a choice point and making the decision that may scare you but you hope will be worth it. Whether big or small, each act of courage in the service of gender equality makes an impact” says Dr. Carol Myers, ILLUMINATE Acts of Courage Campaign Director, “ILLUMINATE is gathering stories of courage to celebrate and to inspire others in recognizing their own opportunities to act courageously - because it’s not our beliefs that change the world, it’s our actions.”

Those who submit their stories of courage can choose to share their story with others or remain anonymous. Selected stories will be amplified on the ILLUMINATE website and circulated to community partners. ILLUMINATE will recognize some of the courageous souls at the film screening of This Changes Everything. This celebration serves to motivate other men and women to take action in their communities to support women’s empowerment, engagement and equality.

ILLUMINATE invites people to submit their personal act of courage through these mediums:

• Online at www.ILLUMINATEfilmfestival.com

• On ILLUMINATE’s social media pages (e.g. #1000actsofcourage)

• At the screening of This Changes Everything, Jan. 11, Mary D Fisher Theatre, Sedona, and at the community organization ActionSpace before the film The day includes an ILLUMINATE/NAWBO co-presented luncheon to be held 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Sound Bites Grill, 101 N. State Rt. 89A. The luncheon includes a panel discussion on Expanding Your Influence featuring powerful women such as Mesha Davis, the CEO of the Arizona Foundation for Women, and Maria Giese, director and advocate for gender equality in Hollywood. Luncheon tickets are $35 and available at NawboSVV.org.

Community partners offer ways to take action in support of women’s issues in the Bringing Your Voice to the Table ActionSpace located at 2030 AZ-89A Suite B, Sedona. This activity is free and open to the public from 6-6:50 p.m.

This Changes Everything is a feature documentary that uncovers what is behind one of the most confounding dilemmas in the entertainment industry - the under-representation and misrepresentation of women. The screening, followed by a filmmaker Q&A, will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, 2030 AZ-89A Suite A-3, Sedona, at 7 p.m. Film tickets are $15.