Forgiveness, Dignity and Justice - The Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival

A full house opened the first annual Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival with the film The Way Back.  Written by Keith R Clarke, Slavomir Rawicz and Peter Weir, it tells the story of seven men who, escaping from a Russian gulag in 1940, walk from Siberia through hostile territory to freedom in India.  Four survivors and three make it to freedom.  The film was based on the novel The Long Walk: The True Trek to Freedom.  Stars of the film included Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess and Colin Farrell. Saoirse Ronan plays the young Irena that joins the group as they trek along.  A moving film, it goes from independent survival in the prison camp to learning to depend on each other. The men change as they journey the 12 months. 

Museum of Tolerance: Singer Taylor Hicks; Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder & Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Founding Director of the MOTIFF; Musician Mike Melvoin (pictured behind Rabbi Hier); Clint Eastwood; musician Tom Scott; CA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; George Lopez

Six time Academy Award nominee, director/producer Peter Weir answered questions after about the making of the film and was joined by some of the producers Joni Levin, Ducan Henderson and Nigel Sinclair.  The inspiring film, shot on location, from Newmarket Films in association with Wrenkin Hill Entertainment and Imagenation Abu Dhabi, will be released in theaters on January 21, 2011.  It's rated PG-13.

Museum of Tolerance: George Lopez

 In line with the mission of the museum, films shown explore human rights issues and through the medium of film seek to prevent hatred, anti-Semitism, and genocide while celebrating themes of tolerance, justice and mutual respect. 

On Sunday night, at the Avalon Hotel, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger presented the award to Clint Eastwood for his work in film and especially for his movie, Gran Torino where an ex Korean vet must defend the rights of his Asian neighbors and champion the cause of the young boy who tries to steal his Gran Torino.

Museum of Tolerance: Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach

The film festival, running from November 13-18th, presents films from around the world celebrating peace, forgiveness, justice and dignity.  It shows original works from Germany, South Africa, Brazil, Liberia, United Kingdom, Slovak Republic, Morocco, as well as the United States.  In addition, they are showing classics as Gran Torino, Judgment at Nuremberg, Chicago 8, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, and to Kill A Mockingbird.  

Museum of Tolerance International Film Fest: Director Peter Weir

Sponsors include Warner Brothers, Hollywood Reporter, Martini Gold, Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Avalon Hotel, Heineken Beer. Christie, Herzog Wines, Keurig, Beverly Hills Lifestyle, The Tribe, Beverly Hills Bar Association, NYX, MRG, Pop Chips, Pom Pom Interiors, Electrosonic, L A Times, Flex Power, LV Floral Events, and Pearl Events.

For more information about this astounding film festival go to

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