Unity through art 

Whistler one of many locales tuning in for first global film event

What: Pangea Day

Where: Telus Conference Centre

When: May 10, 11 a.m.

We may live in a world fraught with conflict, difference and disconnect, but there are still some people trying to bridge the many gaps within the international community.

At 11 a.m. local time on Saturday, May 10, sites in Cairo, Kigali, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai and Rio De Janeiro will go live with a program of 24 powerful short films, music, and inspirational speakers, broadcasting via the Internet, television and mobile phones in seven languages to millions of people throughout the world.

Dubbed Pangea Day, this event was created from the wish of documentary filmmaker, Jehane Noujaim, who was the recipient of the annual $100,000 Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) prize. Noujaim decided to use her wish to try and unite the world through films that point out the similarities between people and places.

The films that will be shown during the four-hour event were selected for their abilities to inspire and transform perspectives, and were chosen from an international competition launched last June, which yielded over 2,500 submissions from more than 100 countries.

Pangea Day will also feature exceptional guest speakers and musical performers, like Queen Noor of Jordan, CNN's Christiane Amanpour, and musician and activist Bob Geldof.

Bonnie Munster, a local community member who is active in the TED community, spearheaded the effort to bring a Pangea Day hosting site to Whistler.

As a diverse, multinational community, Munster thought the event would be a great way to educate people about the differences and similarities between cultures around the world.

“This is quite an event because it’s international, it’s something I think that hasn’t really been done before, that I know of, where people are conferencing live all around the world,” she explained. “I think that’s pretty special and has a lot to offer everybody.”

She added that Resort TV would advertise the event in local hotels, which she hopes will encourage a good cross-section of people to come out and participate.

“It’s the kind of event where you want to watch it with other people, because you can get it in your own home, you can get it on the Internet, you can sit down and watch it with friends, but I think it’s really interesting to be in a conference-like atmosphere… because it’s a sharing kind of event,” she said.

Tourism Whistler, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, AVW-Telav, and Centerplate Catering have teamed up with members of the community to host their own local broadcast site at the Telus Whistler Conference Centre, allowing people to participate in the event, free of charge. The live, four-hour program kicks off at 11 a.m. local time, and runs until 3 p.m.

To find out more about Pangea Day, visit www.whistler.com/pangea or www.pangeaday.org .

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