Woodstock Film Festival Announces the Meera Gandhi Giving Back Foundation Award

Promoting Humanitarian Efforts Through the Art of Film Debuting at 12th Annual WFF Awards Gala

Source: Woodstock Film Festival February 14, 2011


The Woodstock Film Festival is honored to announce that 2011 will mark the inaugural year for the Meera Gandhi Giving Back Award, which will be presented annually to a director, producer or actor who best delivers a message of social change. This prestigious award will include a cash prize of five thousand dollars. The award will be presented at the WFF Annual Awards Gala on Satruday, September 24 by Ms. Gandhi herself.

This partnership between the Woodstock Film Festival and The Meera Gandhi Giving Back Foundation demonstrates the commitment that both organizations have in support of humanitarian efforts through the art of film.

Meera Gandhi and executive director Meira Blaustein

Since its inception, the Woodstock Film Festival has championed films that matter through the Exposure Program, which features screenings (and panels) that emphasize social, political and environmental concerns while seeking to heighten awareness and to stimulate dialogue and positive resolution.

"Thanks to Meera Gandhi and the Giving Back Foundation, the Woodstock FIlm Festival will be able to promote and support dedicated individuals who create meaningful and substantial films that make a difference" stated WFF co-founder & executive director Meira Blaustein. "Everyone at WFF is deeply appreciative of The Giving Back Foundation for it's commitment to endorsing and encouraging positive change".

Meera Gandhi is a Humanitarian, Mother, Businesswoman and Diplomat who was born in Mumbai, India. As the founder of the Giving Back Foundation, she splits her time between her various causes in New York, London and Hong Kong. She also made her directorial debut with the short documentary Giving Back, which explores the deeply personal and unique ways in which Gandhi and her friends from around the world "give back" to humanity. Error! Filename not specified.

“The Giving Back Foundation is absolutely thrilled to be part of The Woodstock Film Festival for the next five years." Meera Gandhi proclaimed, "My own personal life motto and that of the Foundation is: 'You are to the universe as much as you give back to it.' The Woodstock Film Festival lives up to our mission, our ideals and to this motto. We love the fierce independence of the Festival and have so long admired its contributions to the arts, to New York and the U.S.A. It will be a huge honor for me to give out The Meera Gandhi Giving Back Award each year to the carefully selected humanitarian in the film industry.”

About the Meera Gandhi Giving Back Foundation
The Meera Gandhi Giving Back Foundation was established in 2010 by Meera T. Gandhi as a not-for-profit, 501c3 organization. Its beneficiaries are carefully selected existing charities and individuals around the world, with special emphasis on women and children in need. Alleviating poverty, illness, and suffering and helping to educate young children are the primary activities of the Giving Back Foundation, whose motto is, "We are to the universe only as much as we give back to it." The Foundation also exists to act as a platform for debate and discussion; as philanthropic activities continue to evolve around the world.

Some of The Giving Back Foundation's inspirations and affiliations (in alphabetical order), are : Asha Dan, Bono One/Red, Cherie Blair Foundation, CRY, ERVK, Grameen, Habitat for Humanity, India, Happy Home and School for the Blind, Mumbai, Hip Hop Youth Summit Council, I Create, Innocence in Danger, Kids for Kids, HK, Kilkenny Day Care Center, Lighthouse for the Blind, Loomba, New Yorkers for Children, One To World Fulbright, Pratham, RFK Center for Human Justice, Royal National Institute of the Deaf, Same Sky, St. Michael’s Girls Hostel and School, Delhi, Tails of Hope, Thorntree, United World Colleges and the Wayuu Taya Foundation amongst others.

About the Woodstock Film Festival:
The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501c3 organization with a mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music and art-related activities that promotes artists, culture, inspired learning and diversity. WFF premieres exceptional films; hosts emerging and established filmmakers; presents A-list concerts, parties and panels, and creates stimulating, innovative year-round programming WFF's sister organization, The Hudson Valley Film Commission, promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production throughout the region.

Created in 2000, WFF is located in the Hudson Valley Catskills, surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, just two hours from NYC. The historic arts colony offers a relaxed, receptive atmosphere, which filmmakers consistently cite as perfect for the creative interaction necessary for a great film festival. WFF is a festival for and by filmmakers, and was born through a passion for cinema that could only be the brainchild of active filmmakers and dedicated supporters of 'fiercely independent' film.

Hailed by indieWIRE as "A true American Maverick Among Fests," and one of the TOP 50 flm festival in the world, the Woodstock Film Festival has been praised by actor Ethan Hawke as "among the finest of a dying breed: a festival that isn't trying to sell you anything, but simply and beautifully celebrating the art & craft of filmmaking."

Contact Info:
P.O Box 1406, Woodstock, NY 12498 - (845) 679-4265 -