Martin Sheen, Mischa Barton Set for KAT KRAMER'S FILMS THAT CHANGE THE WORLD
Martin Sheen and Mischa Barton, stars of the film, Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain, will be among the participants kicking off the Seventh Annual Kat Kramer's Films That Change The World cinema series highlighting socially significant films, to be presented at The Canon USA, Inc. Screening Room, 6060 Sunset Boulevard (near Gower Street), Hollywood, CA 90028 on Friday, April 10, 2015. Marsha Hunt, the legendary 97-year-old actress of Hollywood's Golden Age and one of the few remaining survivors of The Hollywood Blacklist, will be honored with The First Annual Kat Kramer's Films That Change The World "Marsha Hunt For Humanity Award," for her prolific acting career and work as a social activist for change.
Katharine "Kat" Kramer, Founder of Kat Kramer's Films That Change The World said, "This year, I am proud to announce, I will be presenting three socially significant films as part of my Seventh Annual Film Series. The series will kick off with the film, Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain, a vivid depiction of the world's worst industrial disaster in history at Union Carbide in Bhopal, India in 1984 and the AFTERMATH the calamity caused. Our Keynote Speaker, Tim Edwards, Executive Trustee of the Bhopal Medical Appeal, will be flying in from London to speak about the current status of his organization helping ill survivors who are still dealing with serious health issues as a result of the disaster, which happened over 30 years ago. The April 10th event will also serve as a fundraiser for Bhopal Medical Appeal."
Kramer continued, "This summer I will screen my second installment in this year's cinema series, Jenni Gold's CinemaAbility, an award-winning documentary tracing the history of how characters with disabilities are portrayed in film and on television. Then in the fall, I will screen another exciting surprise film to soon be announced. It is also a great honor to announce that with this year's series I am establishing The First Annual Kat Kramer's Films That Change The World, 'Marsha Hunt For Humanity Award,' which will be presented annually. The first recipient of the award will be the person the award is named for, the legendary actress Marsha Hunt, whose courage and determination to speak out for causes she believes in, and to help affect change, are nothing short of remarkable. In 1947 during the House on Un-American Activities congressional committee's investigation of Communist influence in motion pictures, Ms. Hunt was one of a group of like-minded Hollywood actors who flew to Washington, D.C. to speak up in support of The Hollywood Ten who were being scrutinized by the House on Un-American Activities as Communist supporters. As a result of her actions, Ms. Hunt was blacklisted in Hollywood for at least a decade in the prime of her career as an actress. Ms. Hunt's accomplishments both as an actress, and as a social activist to affect positive changes for the many causes she has championed during her lifetime will be recognized at our event on April 10th with great fanfare."
Marsha Hunt said, "The news that Kat Kramer's Films That Change The World is about to launch an annual award in my name in recognition of a performing artist's efforts to make known an issue of public concern just about put me away. We recognized players and performers are in a unique position as public figures to influence the general public. It's great to see that potential used for good. My attention to public issues and needs has given me great personal joy. I need no award for it, but it's lovely to have, especially if it encourages others. It balances our own great fortune in what's been given to us to be able to give back in return."
The April 10th event will commence at 7:30 p.m. with the presentation of the "Marsha Hunt For Humanity Award," Introductions and the Keynote Speaker address, followed by the screening of the film, Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain at 8:00 p.m., and a Panel Discussion about the film at 9:30 p.m.
Katharine "Kat" Kramer will moderate the Panel Discussion, which will include the film's stars Martin Sheen and Mischa Barton; the director and co-writer, Ravi Kumar; the executive producers Terrance A. Sweeney and Leszek Burzynski and the director of photography Charlie Wuppermann.
The Host Committee for the April 10th event includes: Ed Asner, Mischa Barton, Ed Begley, Jr., Leszek Burzynski, Tim Edwards, Marsha Hunt, Ravi Kumar, William H. Macy, Kal Penn, Sharon Stone, Terrance A. Sweeney, Billy Bob Thornton, Mariana Tosca and Charlie Wuppermann.
Although this event is primarily a film industry salon, a limited number of free tickets will be available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis by calling KNK Productions Inc. in advance at 818-760-3106, or E-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone must be on THE GUEST list in advance for admittance into the actual event, due to limited seating.
The event will be held at the Canon USA, Inc. Screening Room, adjacent to the Stanley Kramer Screening Room, located on the Sunset-Gower Studios' lot, where Stanley Kramer once filmed 15 of his 35 movies when the studio was known as Columbia Pictures. To learn more about the film series, please visitwww.katkramersfilmsthatchangetheworld.com.
More About The Film:
Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain, directed and co-written by Ravi Kumar, is a drama based on true events leading up to December 3, 1984 when a pesticide leak at Union Carbide located Bhopal, Central India killed thousands of people in a few hours, while causing serious health problems for many others. Starring Martin Sheen, Mischa Barton, Kal Penn, Rajpal Yadav and Tannishtha Chatterjee, the film examines the tragic AFTERMATH of what is still considered to this day, over 30 years later, as the world's worst industrial disaster. The 96-minute feature film was produced by Sahara Movie Studios and Rising Star Entertainment.
When the movie premiered in Los Angeles in November 2014, the Los Angeles Times wrote: "He (Ravi Kumar, the director) pulls off the mammoth, apocalyptic scenes of the disaster, which was devastating. Although the real-life events took place three decades ago, the cautionary tale could not be more relevant: Through 'Bhopal,' the filmmaker argues that the promise of JOBS and prosperity all too often trumps environmental and safety concerns, and it leads government to ignore corporate wrongdoing." The Huffington Post wrote: "...someone needed to make sure Bhopal and those whose lives were ended, and changed forever, were not forgotten. We have Ravi Kumar to thank for making sure this is the case. We need cinema to show us these stories." Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain is currently available on DVD on Amazon and Netflix. To learn more about the film, please visit www.bhopalmovie.com.
About The Keynote Speaker:
Tim Edwards, Executive Trustee of the Bhopal Medical Appeal, will serve as Keynote Speaker for the event and participate in the Panel Discussion. The Bhopal Medical Appeal was begun and has grown over two decades by the compassion of thousands of individuals who found themselves unable to stand by and do nothing to change the horrific circumstances brought upon tens of thousands of innocent people. Bhopal Medical Appeal is dependent upon the continued support of individuals every year in order to ensure that organization's two clinics are able to sustain their work and make modest developments.
Initially offering rational and effective treatments to just few hundred of the most desperately ill survivors, over 18 years the Sambhavna Clinic has grown into a model primary healthcare center positively influencing the provision of care to gas victims across the city of Bhopal. It has brought hope and healing to more than 30,000 patients previously floundering in a situation of despair.
The Bhopal Medical Appeal also funds the Chingari Trust, which offers rehabilitation to 200 children born with congenital disabilities, six days a week. Chingari was set up by two remarkable women survivors whose work was recognized with the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2004. Having spent over 15 years leading a gas-affected women's union fighting for normalized wages, neither Rashida Binor Champa Devi had ever seen much in the way of money, yet they put their entire $100,000 prize money into Chingari in order to change the awful situation facing the second and third generation gas and polluted water-affected children they encounter each day within their communities. To learn more, please visit www.bhopal.org.
More About Panelists for the April 10th Event:
Katharine "Kat" Kramer, Founder and Producer of Kat Kramer's Films That Change The World and Panel Moderator, is also an actress, singer and journalist. She has appeared in the films, Hollywood Dreams, Going Shopping, What Just Happened and Little Fockers. On stage she has been seen in two one-woman shows, The Colors of Myself and Kriss Krossing. She has also seen on stage in the roles of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker,and as Anne Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank. As a singer, Kramer is recording "Gemstone," an album of Mick Jaggar love songs, each as a duet with a different artist who has previously worked with Mick Jaggar. Kramer also has a new solo show entitled, My Duet With Mick. A former Miss Golden Globe, Kramer makes frequent appearances in the popular webisode, Child of the Seventies. To learn more, please visit the websitewww.katharinekramer.com.
Martin Sheen, who plays the role of Warren Anderson in the film, Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain, is a multiple Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award-winning actor. He has appeared in more than 65 feature films, including: Apocalypse Now, Wall Street, Ghandi, Catch Me If You Can, The American President, The Departed, Bobby(Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations), The Double, and in The Subject Was Roses for which he was a Golden Globe Award-nominee for his breakthrough performance as Timmy Cleary, a role he originated on Broadway, and for which he received a Tony Award nomination as Best Featured Actor. Sheen co-authored the bestselling memoir Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son (Free Press, May 2012). For television audiences, Sheen is best recognized for his award-winning role as President Josiah Bartlet on NBC's long-running The West Wing. Current projects include: Badge of Honor, an untitled Warren Beatty project, Grace and Frankie, The VESSEL and Revenge of the Whale.
Mischa Barton plays the role of Eva Gascon in the film, Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain. From her humble beginnings in New York Theatre in 1994 where she trained with esteemed directors/writers as James Lapine (Twelve Dreams at LINCOLN Center), Tony Kushner (Slavs! at New York Theater Workshop), and Naomi Wallace (One Flea Spare at the Public Theatre), she went on to work SIDE BY SIDE with modern-day screen icons including Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant in Notting Hill, Bruce Willis and Toni Collette in The Sixth Sense and Sam Rockwell in her Sundance critically-lauded feature film debut Lawn Dogs. What really catapulted Barton to the next level and made her a household name is her small screen performance as "Marisa" on the popular Fox television show, The O.C.(2003 to 2007).
Rami Kumar is the director and co-writer (with David Brooks) of the film, Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain. He started making short films in his spare time while working as a doctor. As his films started to get noticed, he began developing films that were close to his Indian culture and background. His first short film was The Shave (1999), followed by My Other Wheelchair is a Porsche (2001) and Notting Hill Anxiety Festival (2003). Growing up near the city of Bhopal as a child, he knew that this was a story he needed to tell. He wanted to tell the story to the younger generation of the events that affected and have had lasting effects on the people in the city of Bhopal.
Terrance A. Sweeney is an Executive Producer of the film Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain. He is a national best-selling author, an Emmy Award-nominated writer and winner of three Cine Golden Eagles and five Emmy Awards. Sweeney has served as Executive Director and Trustee of the Humanitas Prize, Senior Vice President of Paulist Productions, President of Michael Media, Inc., and Chairman of the Board for IMmortal Foundation. Sweeney has written four books, 10 scripts, and has produced over 50 films and television programs - all with the purpose of inspiring positive rather than destructive human choices. His first Emmy Award, Streets of Anger, Streets of Hope, was awarded for a documentary exploring the root causes of gang violence in East Los Angeles. Sweeney was awarded four additional Emmy Awards as a Producer for Outstanding Achievement in Religious Programming: one for The Juggler of Notre Dame, and three for the final three seasons of the syndicated series, Insight.
Leszek Burzynski is an Executive Producer of Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain. Bursynski spent time on-set in Hyderabad, India during the shoot. His eclectic career began at the BBC in London and has seen him direct, produce, write and perform in films, television programs and commercials. Burzynski directed Wooly Boys starring Peter Fonda, Kris Kristofferson and Keith Carradine, and produced Love & Action in Chicago, starring Courtney Vance, Regina King, Kathleen Turner and Jason Alexander. Recently, he directed a short theatrical feature film on location in New Zealand entitled, Flying South, and the South Pacific documentary he wrote and directed, Living Life Forwards, which is presently in international release.
Charlie Wuppermann served as Director of Photography of Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain. After receiving his masters in cinematography from the London Film School, Wuppermann began his career shooting music videos in England and Germany. He served as Director of Photography on international documentaries and commercials in Europe and the U.S., shooting for brands such as Vodafone, Deutsche Bank, Pepsi, Coors Light, Jaguar and Gillette. He moved to Los Angeles permanently in 2009 and has since shot the feature films Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain andBlood Moon, written by Nicholas Kazan and directed by Kenneth Kokin. Wuppermann recently finished shooting the independent film, A Country Called Home starring Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis, and Mary McCormack.
More About Actress and Human Activist Marsha Hunt:
Marsha Hunt, originally a New Yorker, began her acting career in film in 1935 at the age of 17, under contract to Paramount Studios, where she appeared in leading roles. Then for seven years with MGM, her romantic lead assignments only slightly outnumbered a wide variety of featured roles. These earned her the proud title of "Hollywood's Youngest Character Actress."
Marsha Hunt has appeared in over 60 motion pictures and proved her versatility in such films as The Happy Time, Blue Denim, Valley of Decision, A Letter for Evie, The Human Comedy, PRIDE and Prejudice, Cry Havoc, Panama Hattie, Carnegie Hall, Blossoms in the Dust, Cheers for Miss Bishop, Smash Up, Thousands Cheer and Raw Deal. Her most recent film, a short in 2007, is The Grand Inquisitor.
Hunt made her Broadway stage debut starring in Joy to the World, playing opposite Alfred Drake in 1948, followed by The Devil's Disciple (Life Magazine cover March 6, 1950), Legend of Sarah, Borned in Texus playing opposite Anthony Quinn, The Tunnel of Love playing opposite Johnny Carson and The Paisley Convertible. Other stage lead roles Hunt played in shows on tour included: The Cocktail Party playing opposite Vincent Price, The Lady's Not for Burning playing opposite Vincent Price, Affairs of State, Anniversary Waltz, Marriage-Go-Round, Any Wednesday, Tchin-Tchin, Good-Bye Again, The Little Hut, The Complaisant Lover, The Man With a Load of Mischief, All the Way Home, Roomful of Roses, The Pleasure of His Company, Major Barbara, Heartbreak House, Laura, Rooms, Private Lives, Design for Living, The Corn is Green and On Golden Pond as well as the singing leads in the musicals The King and I playing opposite Anthony Dexter, Meet Me in St. Louis and State Fair playing opposite Leon Ames.
Hunt's television debut was as VIOLA in Twelfth Night, the first Shakespeare play to be televised from coast to coast. It was performed "Live." Other "Live" broadcasts include: Studio One, Climax, Matinee Theatre, Philco Playhouse, Ford Theatre and Danger. Filmed television credits include Outer Limits, The Breaking Point, Channing, Gunsmoke, The Defenders, Ben Casey, Profiles in Courage, Accidental Family, Run For Your Life, The Outsider, Twilight Zone, My Three Sons, Ironside, Marcus Welby M.D., The Young Lawyers, Name of the Game, Police Story, Medical Story, Harry-O, Murder She Wrote and Star Trek: The Next Generation. In addition to television she performed in countless radio dramas during its Golden Era.
Hunt has devoted her private time and life energies serving on many Boards of Directors and Trustees, the first being The Screen Actors Guild in 1946 and 1947. For over thee decades she has served on boards dedicated to the United Nations Specialized Agencies, hunger, fair housing, community relations, youth, cerebral palsy, family planning, mental health and interfaith harmony. She hosted an early telethon, for cerebral palsy, which set a record for continuous hours on the air. She went on to host seven more throughout the United States, thus encouraging other celebrities to do the same.
Advocating the work of the United Nations Specialized Agencies she wrote and produced a star-studded documentary film, A Call From The Stars, on the plight of world refugees which aired locally on CBS, including actors: Steve Allen, Harry Belafonte, Richard Boone, Spring Byington, Jeff Chandler, Bing Crosby, Burl Ives, Louis Jourdan, Phyllis Kirk, Paul Newman, David Niven, Robert Ryan, Jean Simmons and
Joanne Woodward. As Honorary Mayor of Sherman Oaks, CA for 18 years she concentrated on the severe social/economic problem of the Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley homeless population. In 1983 she founded the Valley Mayors' Fund for the Homeless, one of the first organizations of its kind, which helped to raise funds for three facilities and other related services. Her concept of a new Thanksgiving observance called, "Thankful Giving" was passed by both houses of Congress in 1978 and President Jimmy Carter advocated it in his proclamation. Composing both music and lyrics she has written over 50 songs; one of them is distributed by UNICEF worldwide to schoolchildren to be sung in their native languages.
Marsha Hunt was married to screenwriter Robert Presnell Jr. for 40 years, until his death in 1986. In recent years she has produced the CD album, Songs from the Heart and has written a book, The Way We Wore, with hundreds of photographs of styles of the movies of the Golden Age. She has received innumerable honors for her career in film, radio, stage, television and her tireless dedication to causes for the concerns of humanity. In 2010 she received the New York Women in Film Muse Award and was the only actor interviewed on camera in Turner Classic Movie's 2010 miniseries Moguls and Movie Stars. A documentary film about Marsha Hunt's storied life entitled, Marsha Hunt's Sweet Adversity by filmmaker Roger C. Memos will make its debut soon. At 97 years of age Marsha Hunt continues to thrive and hasn't any thoughts of retirement.
More About Kat Kramer's Films That Change The World:
Katharine "Kat" Kramer founded Kat Kramer's Films That Change the World to showcase motion pictures that raise awareness about important social issues. In so doing, she is following in the footsteps of her late father, the legendary producer/director Stanley Kramer, who was known for taking artistic and financial chances by making movies about controversial subjects.
The film series, Kat Kramer's Films That Change The World began in 2009 with Barbra Streisand's Yentl,which focused attention on women's equality, and was used as a springboard for a discussion about the widespread sexual abuse of women in the Congo. Celebrities in attendance and the Host Committee included: Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Anne Archer, Jenna Dewan, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Beverly Todd, Bird York, Arlene Sorkin and women of the Congo.
The second film presented in the series in 2010 was the Academy Awardâ-winning documentary film, The Cove, which exposed the slaughter of dolphins in Japan. The Host Committee and Celebrities in attendance included: Luis Psihoyos, Fisher Stevens, Mark Monroe, Charles Hambleton, Danny Huston, James Kyson Lee, Leslie David Baker, Ben Stiller, Q'Orianka Kilcher, Beau Bridges, Jeff Bridges and Beverly Todd.
In 2011 the film, Elephants and Man: A Litany of Tragedy, about the suffering of elephants in captivity was presented. The event was hosted by LILY Tomlin with special guests, Cher and Tippi Hedren. The Host Committee included: Billy Bob Thornton, Paula Poundstone, Robin Williams, Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Alec Baldwin, Kathy Griffin, Jane Lynch, Ed Begley, Jr., Ken Davitian, Stella Stevens, Lainie Kazan, and Karen Black.
In 2012, the film, Teach Your Children Well, which deals with the growing problem of bullying in schools was screened. The documentary was narrated, and the event was hosted by, LILY Tomlin. Attendees included: Gary Takesian, Steven Roche, Paul Belsito, Robin Dunne Voss, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Miss Coco Peru, Kathryn Joosten, Bella Thorne, Glynn Turman, Bruce Vilanch, Judy Tenuta, Kate Linder, Thom Bierdz, Romi Dames and Wendy Walsh.
In 2013, the Australian documentary film, Fallout received its American Premiere in the series, exploring the subject matter of nuclear holocaust and the making of Stanley Kramer's film On The Beach. The event was hosted by LILY Tomlin and Dr. Helen Caldicott. The Host Committee included: Karen Sharpe-Kramer, Ed Asner, Harrison Ford, Sharon Stone, Ed Begley, Jr., Louis Gossett, Jr., Ric O'Barry, Rick Overton, Heather Mayfield, Donna Anderson, Marsha Hunt, Jerry Mathers, Glynn Turman and Beverly Todd.
Last year, in 2014, the controversial documentary film, The Decent One, was presented in association with the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, chronicling the life Adolf Hitler's right hand man, SS Commander Heinrich Himmler. Special Guests included filmmaker Vanessa Lapa, Event Co-Host Hilary Helstein, Sound Designer Tomer Eliav and Holocaust Historian Michael Berenbaum.
To learn more, please visit www.katkramersfilmsthatchangetheworld.com.