Organ Transplants Go Hollywood June 11-12
Donate Life Film Festival at Paley Center for Media will Honor Celebrities, Films, TV, and Help Writers Tell Donation Stories of Hope, Generosity, and Love
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Donate Life Film Festival returns June 11-12, 2010 to honor Hollywood actors, producers and writers who promoted positive stories of organ donation and transplantation, and to provide instructional workshops to impact future donation storylines in television and film.
“We will also have screenings of shorts and feature length documentaries that are so powerful they will knock your socks off.”
The two-day program is sponsored by Donate Life Hollywood, a campaign created in 2007 after research demonstrated the impact of organ donation storylines on public perceptions of donation, stopping many Americans from signing up to be donors.
"As a way to work proactively with the entertainment industry, the organ and tissue donation and transplant community created Donate Life Hollywood as a resource for writers of scripted dramas, reality show and talk show producers, independent film makers, and anyone else interested in our stories of hope and transformation,” said Tenaya Wallace, campaign director of Donate Life Hollywood. “The Donate Life Film Festival, the Person of the Year event and the Donate Life Hollywood Inspire Awards dinner are a celebration of great storytelling that inspires Americans to donate life.”
The Festival opens Friday June 11 at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills with a VIP cocktail party hosted by Ann Lopez, wife of and living kidney donor to comedian and actor George Lopez. The invite-only red carpet event will honor the Donate Life Hollywood Person of the Year. Nominees for the 2010 award are: the Grammy Award winning R&B group All 4 One; the media mogul and CEO of CBS, Les Moonves; the rising star and hottest transplant surgeon on television, Alex O’Loughlin; the only person to ever have won an Olympic medal with a transplant, Chris Klug; and the smooth-voiced lead-singer of The Calling, Alex Band. More than 4,000 people voted for Person of the Year and nominees will attend the cocktail party.
On Saturday June 12, the Donate Life Film Festival will feature writers workshops by “E.R.” executive producer Dr. Joe Sachs and “CSI: Miami” writer Krystal Houghton that will feature police, coroners, transplant surgeons and more. Donate Life Hollywood Donate Life Hollywood has invited 10 leading physicians from across the country, including board members of the American Society of Transplantation (AST) and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS).
“The Donate Life Film Festival workshops offer a resource to writers, not just on the topic of organ donation but on issues that will intrigue and support all writers, especially those who work in the medical and crime genre,” said Chris Sariego, Donate Life Film Festival coordinator who has helped organize workshops such as “Get a Clue” and “Doctors Delve Deep.” “We will also have screenings of shorts and feature length documentaries that are so powerful they will knock your socks off.”
That evening, the Donate Life Hollywood Inspire Awards dinner brings together all of the television shows this season that have entertained, enlightened and inspired with storylines centering on organ and tissue donation and transplant. The writers and producers of winning episodes will be in attendance to receive their Inspire Awards. Winners this year include “Army Wives” for a cornea transplant storyline; “Undercover Boss” featuring 7-Eleven CEO Joseph DePinto who initiated a donor awareness campaign in stores after meeting employee Delores who lives on dialysis; two episodes of “Extreme Makeover Home Edition,” including the Skaggs Family whose young son received a heart transplant;“Grey’s Anatomy” in which George becomes an organ donor; and the entire first season of “Three Rivers.”
A national survey from Donate Life America and Astellas found a six percent increase in adults’ willingness to register as organ donors, and researchers suggest that this is due to the influence of “Three Rivers.”
“Donate Life Hollywood worked closely with the creator Carol Barbee who had a keen interest in assuring that her show did not harm and helped when it could,” noted Wallace. “The result is that the show saved lives. Within the first eight episodes, Donate Life Hollywood learned of four families who referenced the show as the reason they consented to donation. For that reason, Carol is not only receiving an Inspire Award, but the prestigious Crystal Heart Award presented jointly by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations and the Coalition on Donation and sponsored by the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, and awarded annually to the most effective media broadcast in America.”
The Donate Life Hollywood events are sponsored by Astellas, a pharmaceutical company that has been dedicated to the organ transplant and donation community for more than 20 years.
“Astellas is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the second annual Donate Life Film Festival as part of our continued efforts to reach the public with accurate and compelling messages about organ donation and transplantation,” said Maribeth Landwehr, director of corporate communications for Astellas. “Based on the recent survey we conducted in partnership with Donate Life America, we know that the entertainment industry can positively impact how people feel toward organ donation and transplantation. We hope this event will bring together the entertainment industry to help them understand the impact they have on people and realize the importance and benefits of including accurate and inspiring donation and transplant storylines in television and film.”
Voli Vodka, the only low-calorie fruit and fusion vodka, will be Donate Life Hollywood’s drink sponsor on Friday and Saturday night, offering a signature cocktail, the “Inspire Me,” featuring Voli’s orange vanilla fusion vodka.
To RSVP for the Donate Life Film Festival, go to www.DonateLifeHollywood.org. Admission to workshops is free and a complimentary lunch will be served.
To learn more about the Donate Life Hollywood Person of the Year nominees, go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5926Z2M Voting ended June 6.
For more information on the events, contact Tenaya Wallace at (213)229-5659 or email@example.com.
About Donate Life Hollywood
Donate Life Hollywood is part of the national Donate Life movement harnessing the efforts of the organ and tissue donation and transplant community including transplant centers, organ procurement organizations, tissue and eye banks, and transplant groups. Donate Life Hollywood serves as a liaison between the organ and tissue donation community and the entertainment industry with the mission of seeing more accurate and inspiring organ donation storylines on television and in film. For more information: www.DonateLifeHollywood.org.
Astellas is a recognized leader in transplantation and has been committed to the field of immunology for more than 20 years. Dedicated to supporting the advancement of care for patients, Astellas continues to build upon its legacy and leadership in transplantation by investing in ongoing clinical research and new product development.
Astellas Pharma US, Inc., located in Deerfield, Illinois, is a U.S. affiliate of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to “Changing tomorrow” by improving the health of people around the world through innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. The organization is committed to becoming a global category leader in focused areas by combining outstanding R&D and marketing capabilities. In the US, Astellas markets products in the areas of Anti-Infectives, Cardiovascular, Dermatology, Neuroscience, Transplant and Urology. For more information about Astellas Pharma US, Inc., please visit our Web site at www.astellas.us or www.AstellasTransplant.com.