When the 1994 Rwandan genocide broke out, Carl Wilkens was the only American who refused to leave the country. His motive for staying centered around two Tutsis, their lives threatened, who were living in his home. As the killing escalated, Carl and several Rwandan colleagues began making efforts to save others targeted in Kigali. Throughout it all, Carl’s wife Teresa, shared the same devotion to this country, and provided emotional support via ham radio after joining the expatriate evacuation with their three small children.
Stomp Out Genocide
An African child wanders into a destroyed village and discovers a pair of red sneakers which had belonged to a child victimized in a genocide. He puts on the sneakers and begins stomping on the ground in anger, which evolves into a dance for life. The sneakers travel around the world being danced in by hundreds of children who speak out against the targeting of children and the abuse to their human rights.
The Global Peace Film Festival, established in 2003, uses the power of the moving image to further the cause of peace on earth. From the outset, the GPFF envisioned “peace” not as the absence of conflict but as a framework for channeling, processing and resolving conflict through respectful and non-violent means. People of good faith have real differences that deserve to be discussed, debated and contested.
GPFF works to connect expression – artistic, political, social and personal – to positive, respectful vehicles for action and change. The festival program is carefully curated to create a place for open dialogue, using the films as catalysts for change.
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