Press Release: FilmAid’s Power of Film benefit in New York City celebrated Full Frontal host Samantha Bee and Marissa Sackler, Founder of nonprofit incubator Beespace.


FilmAid’s Power of Film benefit in New York City celebrated Full Frontal host Samantha Bee and Marissa Sackler, Founder of nonprofit incubator Beespace. Uma Thurman, Griffin Dunne, Amy Irving among guests.

NEW YORK CITY —  On May 10, FilmAid International held its annual Power of Film benefit in New York City. The cocktail event supported FilmAid’s mission to tap the storytelling power of film to inform, inspire and empower refugees around the world. This year's gathering was a special celebration of refugee girls.

The event — which brought together guests from the entertainment industry and the humanitarian world — honored comedian and Full Frontal host Samantha Bee and philanthropist Marissa Sackler, Founder and Chairwoman of nonprofit incubator Beespace.

The benefit took place on the rooftop of post-production house Company 3 in Chelsea. The Host Committee included actors Uma Thurman and Griffin Dunne, filmmakers Davis Guggenheim, Rory Kennedy and FilmAid founder, producer Caroline Baron. American Express and Film Finances, Inc. are among the event’s sponsors.

Uma Thurman presented Bee with FilmAid’s Community Leadership award for bringing greater awareness to girls’ and women’s issues with her smart brand of humor. Bee is an actress, writer, producer, political commentator and television host. Her weekly late-night comedy series Full Frontal on TBS premiered to critical acclaim in February, and was quickly picked up to run through at least the end of 2016. Prior to Full Frontal, Bee was the longest-serving correspondent on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. 

Sackler received FilmAid’s Philanthropic Leadership Award, which was presented to her by Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for UN Secretary General. Sackler founded Beespace in 2013 to help identify and launch the next generation of innovative nonprofits. Utilizing the tech incubator model, Beespace provides a suite of shared services, office space and a supportive community to grow their impact. Among Beespace’s incubees are the Malala Fund and VoteRunLead, which specifically focus on women’s issues.

FilmAid’s past honorees include former U.S. Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, Tribeca Film Institute Co-Founder Jane Rosenthal, journalist-filmmaker Sebastian Junger, National Geographic Society CEO and former NPR President Gary Knell, International Rescue Committee President Emeritus Robert DeVecchi, and Virgin Unite President Jean Oelwang.

Among its long-standing programs serving refugee women and girls, FilmAid recently launched two projects supporting girls’ education in Kenya and Jordan in partnership with the Malala Fund, Participant Media, National Geographic, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Image Nation Abu Dhabi. Through screenings of Davis Guggenheim’s moving documentary He Named Me Malala, FilmAid is reaching more than 35,000 young refugees in schools and youth groups. Building on the strength of the film and Malala’s own story, mentoring workshops are helping thousands of adolescent girls develop and implement personal strategies for achieving their education goals.

FilmAid International was founded in 1999 in response to the humanitarian crisis in Kosovo and the former Yugoslavia. Nearly two decades later, FilmAid is an innovative leader in humanitarian communications, using a community-based approach to create and distribute life-saving information to refugees in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Using film, radio and journalism created by refugees, FilmAid engages communities with dignity and respect, providing actionable information about their rights, safety, health and wellbeing. Alongside public information campaigns, FilmAid trains youth in all aspects of storytelling and communications, empowering the next generation to advocate for its own rights and community needs.


Keefe Murren

Managing Director, FilmAid International

+1 (212) 920-3663