Notes from Susan: Post-Election

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Notes from Susan: Post-Election

As executive director of Shine Global, a 501(c)(3), I am mindful that its right to advocate for specific political views is very limited. Nevertheless, I must confess that like so many, I am personally stunned and frightened by the results of last night’s election. Clearly I personally underestimated the anger and fear felt by millions of Americans that propelled Donald Trump to the presidency.

President-Elect Trump is largely an unknown beyond his divisive and inflammatory rhetoric. We can only hope that his demeanor will change dramatically, that his capacity to care for others will increase, and that his policies – when finally articulated – will serve ALL Americans. As it is, it’s likely that many Americans – especially Blacks, Latinos, Muslims, immigrants and women – may feel anxious about their status under this new administration.

In such times of political uncertainty, individuals and organizations must step up and do all they can to support the rights and needs of all citizens, especially the youngest and most vulnerable. Over the past 11 years, Shine Global has repeatedly given voice to children whose stories of resiliency raise awareness, promote action and inspire change. We vow to continue doing all we can on their behalf and hope you will as well.

Shine’s 2nd Annual Party – What a Wonderful Evening!

Shine’s 2nd Annual Party – What a Wonderful Evening!

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Shine’s 2nd Annual Party – What a Wonderful Evening!

From the moment we first saw the Helen Mills Event Space on West 26th Street, we knew it was the perfect venue for our second annual Shine Global party. Large, airy, with high ceilings, a beautiful deco bar, it is very elegant. Add a wonderful staff – especially Brittany and Scoop – and you have the makings for a special night.

Arriving, the first thing we saw was the fantastic signage over the doors highlighting our sponsors, Shine, and our movies. We had a great crowd – a lot of friends but many new faces as well – and we really appreciated everyone’s attentiveness throughout our presentation. After awarding two long-time volunteers for their service to Shine, we introduced the filmmakers for Shine’s three most current films.

Beginning with Aaron and Amanda Kopp, filmmakers of Liyana, and their very talented animator, Shofela Coker, we also heard from The Wrong Light directors, Josie Swantek Heitz and Dave Adams. We watched trailers for both films before Albie introduced the third, The Eagle Huntress, directed by Otto Bell and Stacey Reis. Otto and Stacey were able to stop by early in the evening before going to do Q&As at two theaters as the film has just opened in NY and LA.

We hope our guests had as much fun as we did. Albie and I want to thank our sponsors – Spike, CNN, Epix, Freeform TV and A. Jaffe Jewelers. Our appreciation also goes to our wonderful board of directors, our board of governors, our host committee, and volunteers. And most of all I want to thank Alex Blaney and Kiana Jackson, without whose help Shine would have ground to a halt years ago. Finally, a special thanks to my dear friend, Ruth Sarlin, for her second tour as silent auction coordinator, and to Board of Directors member Anne Prost for her moving statement about Shine.

Thanks to everyone – especially our sponsors – we doubled our donations from last year! Let’s do this again next year…

Check out the pictures on our Facebook page!

Inaugural Shine Global Spirt Award Honorees Carlos de la Cruz and Roy Langbord

Inaugural Shine Global Spirt Award Honorees Carlos de la Cruz and Roy Langbord

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Inaugural Shine Global Spirt Award Honorees Carlos de la Cruz and Roy Langbord

At Shine Global’s second annual party on November 4, 2016, we had the privilege of presenting the first Shine Global Spirit Award honoring individuals who have given service to children. This inaugural award went to two long-time Shine volunteers who have provided pro-bono support since 2007, enabling us to make films that raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change on behalf of children struggling against difficult odds.

At Shine Global’s second annual party on November 4, 2016, we had the privilege of presenting the first Shine Global Spirit Award honoring individuals who have given service to children. This inaugural award went to two long-time Shine volunteers who have provided pro-bono support since 2007, enabling us to make films that raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change on behalf of children struggling against difficult odds.

Carlos de la Cruz is a native Chicagoan who now calls NYC his home. He’s the IT Operations Manager at the Mullen group, and has more than 15 years of IT experience, he has held positions ranging from higher education to advertising to the non-profit sector. A son of Mexican immigrants, with 6 siblings, Carlos says he feels a strong connection with Shine Global’s mission and work. We met him several years ago when he first helped us with our IT needs and he has never stopped – from setting up systems, to trouble-shooting and repairing them, he is unfailingly generous with his time and expertise and has never charged us a penny.

Roy Langbord is a graduate of Columbia University and NYU law school with 40 years’ entertainment experience. Roy has held legal, business affairs, and senior executive positions over an 18-year career at Showtime networks. He also helped launch Next New Networks, Worldwide Biggies, and Epix. And Roy has consulted for World Wrestling Entertainment and BBC Worldwide Americas. He lives in NY with his wife of 39 years, Cathy Loup, and their two very substantial Maine coon cats. Roy has been unstinting in providing excellent, pro bono legal support for us for more than 10 years.

We’re indebted to them both for their support of Shine as well as their wise counsel.

The Eagle Huntress Now in Theaters

The Eagle Huntress Now in Theaters

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The Eagle Huntress Now in Theaters

The Eagle Huntress follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl, as she trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter, and rises to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries.

Set against the breathtaking expanse of the Mongolian steppe, the film features some of the most awe-inspiring cinematography ever captured in a documentary, giving this intimate tale of a young girl’s quest the dramatic force of an epic narrative film.

Directed by Otto Bell, THE EAGLE HUNTRESS is narrated by Daisy Ridley, executive produced by Ridley Morgan Spurlock,and Susan MacLaury and produced by Stacy Reiss, Sharon Chang and Otto Bell. The director of photography is Simon Niblett, the editor is Pierre Takal and the film features a stirring end credits song,“Angel by the Wings,” by Sia.

A.O. Scott of the New York Times writes of Aisholpan “With the release of “The Eagle Huntress,” a thrilling new documentary directed by Otto Bell, she may well become something else: a pop-culture heroine with the power to inspire girls (and not only girls) everywhere.”

And that’s not the only praise The Eagle Huntress has received, starting with its premiere at Sundance in January:

 “AN ENCHANTING TALE OF GIRL POWER.”
 – KENNETH TURAN, LOS ANGELES TIMES 

 “ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFULLY SHOT MOVIES I HAVE EVER SEEN.”
 – MELISSA SILVERSTEIN, INDIEWIRE 

 “THE SEASON’S MOST FAMILY-FRIENDLY FEMALE EMPOWERMENT NATURE DOC.”
 – DAVID FEAR, ROLLINGSTONE.COM 

 “A BLISS-OUT.”
 – MANOHLA DARGIS, THE NEW YORK TIMES 

“INSPIRATIONAL TO YOUNGER GIRLS BY SHOWING THEM HOW THEY CAN DO AND BE ANYTHING THEY WANT IN LIFE.”
 –EDWARD DOUGLAS, FILM JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL 

 “A BREATHTAKING DOCUMENTARY THAT SHOWS WHEN WE ENCOURAGE OUR DAUGHTERS, AMAZING THINGS HAPPEN.”
 – CHRISTINE ESTIMA, VICE 

The Eagle Huntress is rated G. In English and Kazakh, with English subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 27 minutes.

The Eagle Huntress opens today in New York and LA with more cities through November.

Check for your city and buy tickets at http://bit.ly/EagleHuntressTheaters

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