Forest Whitaker, who is UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador for peace and reconciliation has received an excellence award from the Cameroon Film Industry Organization during the 2022 edition of the CAMIFF, for constantly seeking to mobilize cinema and arts at large in the service of universal values such as nonviolence, tolerance, dialogue, and bringing authentic futuristic African values to the global stage through his films.
The popular actor, recipient of various accolades including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a British Academy Film Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards, was invited to close the fifth edition of the Cameroon International Film Festival which takes place every May.
The over four-day event this year, showcased more than 60 films that focus on and promote African culture, films by independent African filmmakers, films about history and historical landmarks, and films that address issues that affect the world, with the main aim of promoting the unique film culture from Cameroon.
In his speech to close the event, Forest Whitaker acknowledged that “several Cameroonian movies are being streamed on internet platforms like the Netflix, and this is just the beginning” he said.
Speaking about the Cameroon film festival itself, the social activist said “This event is an opportunity to engage, educate and inspire for cinema.
“Film and filmmakers have a great responsibility and opportunity in our society, shaping our understanding of the world and making a direct impact on our shared consciousness.
“For decades, I’ve seen how movies can unite people from incredibly varied backgrounds, helping us to comprehend the past and dream for the future, as we gain empathy for people with unique and different life experiences to our own.”
Forest Whitaker is the founder and CEO of WPDI, an organization that aims to promote the values of peace, reconciliation, and social development within communities impacted by conflict and violence.