FILM AS RELIEF
Producers don’t get all the props that they deserve, so I was happy to see the glam portrait of downtown New York producer Caroline Baron, whose credits include Monsoon Wedding and Bennett Miller’s upcoming Capote, in the new Vanity Fair. The article was as much about Baron’s activities as a specialty exhibitor, though, as her producing.
What is her specialty distribution biz? Baron is the founder of FilmAid International, a non-profit organization that brings outdoor cinema to both countries devastated by war and the populations displaced by its effects. The organization also runs a video program that puts cameras in the hands of young refugees.
From the organization’s homepage: “Civilians have always been the victims of war. Today, they are often the target. The world’s refugee and displaced person population — 30 million — has never been as large. By the thousands, people in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America are forced to abandon their homes, families and livelihoods. Host communities and relief organizations respond quickly to immediate needs of food, shelter and medical attention, but refugees too often go without education, a sense of community and stimulation, or heart-lifting diversion. Trauma and depression can cripple their capacity to cope. These issues become acute as months stretch into years and decades of waiting in a refugee camp. FilmAid addresses what other aid agencies cannot.”