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Unilever Project Sunlight rolls out the yellow carpet

Actress and mother Sarah Michelle Gellar joins Unilever Project Sunlight and its mission to create a brighter future for children

Santa Monica, CA (March 2, 2014) - Inspired by the power of film to motivate change, Unilever Project Sunlight partnered with the Film Independent Spirit Awards this weekend to cast a spotlight on those in the industry who are helping to create a brighter future – and inspire others to do the same.

While awards season arrival shows typically dedicate red-carpet banter to quips and couture, Unilever Project Sunlight and Film Independent rolled out the “yellow carpet” to hear stories about social good, sustainable living and those who are making a difference to create a brighter future.

Launched in 2013, Unilever Project Sunlight embodies the consumer product company’s global mission – the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan – that encourages people to take small steps that together make a big difference towards building a brighter future for children. Project Sunlight aims to build momentum behind a growing community of people who believe it is possible to build a world where everyone lives well and lives sustainably, without compromising the needs of future generations.

“As our products – like Dove, Lipton, Hellmann’s and Suave – touch two billion people who use them every day, we have the ability to reach and galvanize them,” said Kees Kruythoff, President, Unilever, North America. “Our scale, coupled with the inspired stories and influence of those that are being honored by Film Independent, is a truly powerful combination to inspire people to want to take small steps to create a bright future for our children.”

Joining Unilever Project Sunlight to share her story and help capture the stories of Film Independent Spirit Award attendees was actress Sarah Michelle Gellar. Gellar joined her fellow actors and filmmakers to discuss their hopes for a brighter future and what they’re doing to help create it.

“Of all the roles I’ve played as a film and television actress, the most important one by far has been being a mom,” explained Gellar. “It’s changed my motivation, my inspiration and my day-to-day behavior as I think about the future for my children.”

To recognize the power of film to inspire change, Unilever Project Sunlight is also sponsoring the first-ever Bright Future Award, honoring a filmmaker whose work motivates individuals to take action to create a better world. The inaugural Bright Future Award recipient is Patrick Creadon, whose film, If You Build It, exemplifies the power of hands-on education and the impact a few budding creative minds can have on the future of a community. As part of the award, Unilever provided Creadon with a grant to continue making inspirational films.

“Certainly, I share this award with Project H Design and the empowered and empowering young people of Bertie County, North Carolina featured in If You Build It,” said Creadon. “I’m just happy I had the opportunity to bring their inspiring story to screen and am eager to find and share other stories that challenge, uplift and motivate change.”

Learn more about If You Build It and watch highlights from the Film Independent Spirit Awards “yellow carpet” on www.projectsunlight.us including exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews, and join the conversation on Twitter with #brightfuture

About The Film Independent Spirit Awards

Now in its 29th year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers who embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promotes the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience. The winners of the Spirit Awards are voted upon by Film Independent and IFP Members. 

Awards are given in the following categories: Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay, Best Director, Best Screenplay, John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for a budget under $500,000), Best Male Lead, Best Female Lead, Best Supporting Male, Best Supporting Female, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and the Robert Altman Award, Best International Film, and Best Documentary. The Filmmaker Grants include the Piaget Producers Award, the Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award, the Bright Future Awards, sponsored by Unilever Project Sunlight and the Kiehl's Someone to Watch Award.

To access full gallery of photos from the Unilever Project Sunlight Yellow Carpet at the Film Independent Spirit Awards go to: http://mm.gettyimages.com/mm/nicePath/gyipa_public?nav=pr216087253

Jennifer Parsons

212-445-8246
jparsons@webershandwick.com

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