2 Emmy Awards for War Dance!

emmy_statue-797829We are very happy to announce that WAR/DANCE, Shine Global’s first feature documentary, won two Emmy Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Documentary at the 31st Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards ceremony in New York on September 27th, 2010.

Congratulations to Sean and Andrea Nix Fine, the directors of the film, to Susan MacLaury and Albie Hecht, the producers of the film and the founders of Shine Global, and to everyone else who was involved in the making of WAR/DANCE.

WAR/DANCE follows three remarkable children in the northern Uganda war zone, Nancy, Rose, and Dominic, as they transform from victims of war into triumphant young adults.  For the past two decades, the children of the Acholi tribe in northern Uganda have been caught in the middle of a horrific war between the country’s leadership and a rebel force, the Lord’s Resistance Army. But when the internally displaced persons camp’s primary school unexpectedly wins a regional music competition, the opportunity to compete nationally in Kampala brings with it the forgotten chance to dream.

Stay tuned for the release of WAR/DANCE RETURNS coming soon online!

In the summer of 2008, director Sean Fine, executive producer Susan MacLaury, and the original “War Dance” film crew traveled back to Uganda for the first time since “War Dance” was filmed. Finally, the people of Uganda were able to watch “War Dance,” the film dedicated to sharing their story with the world. Approximately 7-10 thousand people came to see the film in the Patongo camp, making a lasting impression on the entire crew as well as Rose, Nancy, and Dominic.

Rose, Nancy, and Dominic have blossomed into strong and determined young adults who have become leaders in their community. They are admired for their strength and courage, and their hope shines brighter than ever.

Shine Global Annual Auction at CharityFolks.com


Shine Global’s Annual Auction is happening now at CharityFolks.com.   It features exciting and unique experiences such as luxurious getaways, tickets to your favorite talk shows, once-in-a-lifetime entertainment experiences for kids, such as walk-on roles and being Nickelodeon president for a day, and much MORE!

Act now to make sure you get the chance to win one of the many wonderful once in a life time experiences!

Some of the items up for bid include:

4 tickets to the Kids Choice Awards
Meet the cast of Dancing with the Stars with your VIP tickets
Meet the hosts of Attack of the Show at a live taping!
Jimmy Fallon show
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
The Colbert Report
4 VIP Tix to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Audition for a Nick Casting Executive
VIP Tix to the Guy’s Choice Awards AND AFTER PARTY
Finale Party of Model Latina
Set visit to a Nick Live Action Hit!
Walk on role on a new sitcom about surfing
TUFF Puppy recording session
Argentine Wine Country experience…
Visit the auction at CharityFolks.com to see all the items and have your chance to meet stars and see the television and movie business from inside- all while helping Shine Global to fulfill our mission!

It’s easy to bid on Charity Folks. Just sign up and and then click towards your item!

Tour Guide Helps Kids Find Way to School in Cambodia

Ponheary Ly CambodiaBy Allie Brown, CNN

Koh Ker, Cambodia (CNN) — Ponheary Ly has survived genocide, the murder of several family members — including her father — and life in poverty. Today, she’s working to build a brighter future for the children of Cambodia — by helping them go to school.

“Education is important for me,” says Ly, “because my father was a teacher.”

Primary schools are free to attend in Cambodia, but not all children go. With most of the population living in rural areas, children often lack transportation to get to school — and many families keep children home to help on the farm and earn money, said Ly.

Those able to go often must pay a small fee — around $20 a year — to buy uniforms and supplies, and many families can’t afford it.

Cambodia is one of the poorest nations in the world, where about 40 percent of the population of 14.7 million live off less than $1.25 a day, according to World Bank.

“They don’t have enough to eat,” said Ly. “How can they have the money to buy uniforms and supplies?”

Ly, 47, is bridging that gap. She and her foundation are helping thousands of rural children attend school by providing them with uniforms, supplies and other services.

“I need them to have a good education, to build their own family as well as to build their own country,” Ly said.

Ly’s family was thrown into poverty during the Khmer Rouge regime. Their father was the main breadwinner, and when he was killed in 1977, along with 13 other family members, the family was left with nothing. After the regime dissolved, Ly, her six remaining siblings and their mother were forced to start over.

Education was Ly’s answer.

She became a teacher in 1982, struggling to get by on her government salary. But she used her meager earnings to work with other teachers to create libraries, and she offered free instruction to children who couldn’t afford lessons.

When Cambodia opened up to tourism in the 1990s, Ly — who speaks Khmer, Russian, French and English — became a licensed tour guide to earn more money.

As she guided tourists to the ancient Angkor Wat temples in Siem Reap, she saw children begging tourists for money at the temples. On her tours in the countryside, she noticed that many children didn’t go to school at all.

Ly began using tip money — and soliciting donations from tourists in lieu of tips — to support the children’s education. She started with one girl who was in school but lacked the resources to continue, and by the next year she was helping 40 children.

As Ly was slowly growing her program, one child at a time, she met an unlikely ally from Texas.

Lori Carlson was visiting Cambodia in December 2005 and ended up on one of Ly’s tours.

“She explained to me the work that she and her family were doing in the community,” Carlson said. “When I saw what she was doing and saw how incredibly effective it was and how important it was in the country, it became very compelling to me.”

Carlson was so moved that she returned to Texas and helped establish the Ponheary Ly Foundation.

“I set the foundation up to initially just help funnel funds to her so she could broaden her project,” said Carlson, 50. “Then over time I made several trips [back] to see how things were going. … Eventually I just reached the tipping point where I thought, ‘I’m just going to move to Cambodia.’ ”

Carlson resigned her job with a printing company in Austin, Texas, sold her house and made the move. And she hasn’t looked back.

Today, the foundation helps support more than 2,000 children at four schools throughout Cambodia. The schools were chosen because many children in neighboring villages lacked the resources to attend.

At two of the schools, those who can’t afford to attend are supported by the foundation. At the others, the foundation supports all of the children.

“After several years, I see the change,” Ly said. “They know how to read and write.”

Children are given two uniforms and two pairs of shoes each year, along with school supplies. At the school in Koh Ker, located three hours from Siem Reap, all the children receive breakfast each day, along with medical care. In addition, the foundation provides bikes to graduating sixth-graders and the top students in the fourth and fifth grades.

Because teachers’ wages are low and absenteeism is often high, Ly and her organization also pay teachers additional stipends each month depending on the number of sessions they’re teaching.

The group is building a library and setting up a clean water project for two of the schools.

Carlson said the change in the rural children “has been huge.”

“Their physical health has improved dramatically. Their ability to learn has improved dramatically,” she said. “All of the children from [the village of Koh Ker] are now in school, and none of their parents went to school. … When these children become literate, become educated, that’s going to cause a big shift.”

By educating rural children, Ly said she hopes they’ll help build up their communities to become literate, critical thinking people — qualities she believes can help her country avoid the destruction it experienced under the Khmer Rouge.

For Ly, it’s about encouraging the students to spread their knowledge to friends, communities — and parents.

“I ask [the parents] to learn from their kids,” she said. “If the children in this village get a good education, it helps the poor village very much. They know about the situation of their village very well, what the villagers need … [and they] can improve their village faster than the other people who come here.”

Ly still works as a tour guide and estimates that at least 20 percent of her earnings go toward supporting the children. In addition, she spends about 50 percent to 60 percent of her time on her efforts, without compensation.

Ly said she hopes to see the children ultimately go to college. She credits her passion for education to her own makeup, saying her “father’s blood” runs through her.

“My father, he has to be proud of me, because he stay with me all the time … in heaven, and in my heart. I’m very happy to have him as my father, even just a short time.”

Want to get involved? Check out the Ponheary Ly Foundation website at http://www.theplf.org/ and see how to help.

To  see the video and more photos please visit CNN at http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/06/18/cnnheroes.ly.cambodia/index.html

Eva Longoria-Parker, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard and Director U Roberto Romano at a special screening of The Harvest in the Capitol

Eva and Roybal-Allard 9.15.10By Olivia Hampton (AFP) –

WASHINGTON — No child should have to choose between putting food on the table and getting a proper education, actress Eva Longoria said Wednesday calling for more rights for the youngest US farm workers.

“Every time you eat a salad, every time you eat a vegetable, you have to think that this might have been picked by a child,” Longoria, who grew up on a farm in Texas, told a press conference campaigning for a reform of child labor laws.

“The children who feed the most well-fed nation in the world go to bed hungry,” added the star of ABC television’s “Desperate Housewives.”

She was introducing a documentary which said more than a quarter of all the fruits and vegetables consumed in the United States are picked by as many as 400,000 migrant child workers, many of them US citizens or legal residents.

Victor Huapilla, a 16-year-old in Florida, said he gets paid about one dollar for every bucket he fills with 25 pounds (11 kilograms) of tomatos. He carries an average of 2,500 pounds (1,134 kilograms) a day.

“The United States is a Third World country where agriculture is concerned,” said director Robin Romano, who followed five families over two years across the United States for his documentary “The Harvest/La Cosecha.”

Outraged that so many children in the United States work up to 14 hours a day eight months a year without the protection of child labor laws, some congressional representatives are pressing for new legislation.

Two thirds of child farm workers — many of them Hispanic Americans — do not graduate from school because of work and family obligations, according to some estimates.

“As schools opened in the past few weeks, sadly absent from the classroom were thousands of children who remain working in the field,” said Democratic lawmaker Lucille Roybal-Allard.

“Most of these children will start the academic year late and continue to work long hours, leaving them little time or energy to do their homework.”

She has sought congressional action on her Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE Act) for the past nine years. It has the support of 105 representatives, far short from the 216-member majority to pass the bill.

Roybal-Allard said the main opposition to her bill came from the farming industry, which uses children as a source of “cheap labor.”

But she added most Americans remained unaware that it is legal for US children aged 12 and sometimes younger to harvest fruits and vegetables under harsh conditions.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the minimum age for particularly hazardous work in agriculture is age 16, two years younger than in all other sectors of the economy. Roybal-Allard’s bill would raise that minimum age to 18.

The FLSA also includes exemptions where children younger than 12 can work on small farms.

Currently the normal minimum age for employment in agriculture is 14, with shifts limited to outside of school hours, whereas the age for all other industries stands at 16.

To find out more about Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard’s work on the CARE Act please click Lucille’s Legislation at www.house.gov/roybal-allard.

Shine Global is re-teaming with Sean and Andrea Fine on our new project INOCENTE!

Inocente Shine Global is very happy to announce that we are re-teaming with the directors of War/Dance, Sean and Andrea Fine, in our upcoming project INOCENTE.  We will also be working with Emanuel Michael of Unison Films and Yael Melemede of Salty Features.

In San Diego, a young teenage girl’s eyes stare into a compact mirror. She paints a dramatic black swirl around her eye. Never knowing what her day will bring, the one constant she counts on is knowing how it will begin – – with paint.

INOCENTE is an intensely personal and vibrant coming of age feature documentary about a young artist’s fierce determination to never surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings.

At 15, Inocente refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be caged by her life as an undocumented immigrant forced to live homeless for the last nine years. Color is her personal revolution and its extraordinary sweep on her canvases creates a world that looks nothing like her own dark past – – a past punctuated by a father deported for domestic abuse, an alcoholic and defeated mother of four who once took her daughter by the hand to jump off a bridge together, an endless shuffle year after year through the city’s overcrowded homeless shelters and the constant threat of deportation.

Despite this history, Inocente’s eyes envision a world transformed…where buildings drip in yellow and orange, where pink and turquoise planets twinkle with rescued dreams, and one eyed childlike creatures play amongst loved babies and purple clouds. Inocente’s family history is slowly revealed through her paintings, which are brought to life onscreen in an animated storyline of her own creation and woven throughout the narrative.

Told entirely in her own words, we come to Inocente’s story as she realizes her life is at a turning point, and for the first time, she decides to take control of her own destiny. Irreverent, flawed and funny, she’s now channeling her irrepressible personality into a future she controls. Her talent has finally been noticed, and if she can create a body of work in time, she has an opportunity to put on her first art show. Meanwhile, her family life is at a tense impasse – – if she legally emancipates herself from her mother to strike out on her own, she’ll risk placing her brothers in foster care, but to stay is unbearable.

INOCENTE is both a timeless story about the transformative power of art and a timely snapshot of the new face of homelessness in America, children. Neither sentimental nor sensational, INOCENTE will immerse you in the very real, day-to-day existence of a young girl who is battling a war that we rarely see. The challenges are staggering, but the hope in Inocente’s story proves that the hand she has been dealt does not define her, her dreams do.

Visit our INOCENTE Project page and stay tuned for updates!