Event shines spotlight on humanitarian film and music.
The clocks in Paris turned to a "Time for Peace" as the humanitarian film and music awards ceremony added an international touch to the French capital on Friday night. International talent including director Tony Gatlif, actresses Anne Consigny, Julie Gayet and Aissa Maiga, actor Jimmy Jean-Louis and singer Hugues Auffray joined Ambassadors to the Council of Europe for the ceremony complete with a special concert and dinner at the luxe Parisian Ritz Hotel.
Florian Gallenberger's German title John Rabe took the prize for best picture and directing and Tony Gatlif's Liberté was named founders' choice picture. "It's very important," Gatlif told The Hollywood Reporter shortly before receiving his award, adding: "It's a small ray of light."
The prestigious jury featured 24 Ambassadors to the Council of Europe from across the continent plus Time for Peace Film & Music Awards founders Marion and Robert Einbeck. Sotigui Kouyate was named best actor in a leading role for his performance in French title London River and Brenda Blethyn won the best actress prize for her role in that film. The award for the new sport film award category went to Bernard Bellefroid's Belgian movie The Boat Race. Sting's If on a Winter's Night won the award for best music.
This year's ceremony marked the first time the awards ceremony was held in the Gallic capital. "It's the premiere city for cinema in Europe," Robert Einbeck said of the choice for Paris, adding that "It's a musical, cinematographic and humanitarian bridge between the US and France." The Einbecks intend to make the event Franco-American next year with plans for two Time for Peace awards ceremonies in 2011, one in the US and another in France before heading to Asia in six years.
"It's one step forward for togetherness," Heroes actor Jimmy Jean-Louis said of the prize. He added: "We live in a world that's completely divided which is why we need humanitarian events like this in order to inspire others to remain humane. We're losing touch with ourselves."
© The Hollywood Reporter by Rebecca Leffler