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‘Avatar’ Star Endorses Video Volunteers

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You may know Stephen Lang as the villainous Colonel Quaritch in “Avatar,” but in reality he believes the camera is a stronger weapon than the gun.

He’s become a champion of using cinema for the empowerment of the most disadvantaged and has recently made a video endorsing the global media organization Video Volunteers.

Says Stephen Lang, “Video Volunteers is creating a kind of grassroots Reuters. They have created an alternative media in places that don’t have cinemas or TV or even regular electricity. As an actor, it is amazing to see people who have so little producing such interesting media.”

Mr. Lang’s endorsement is one of a series of endorsements Video Volunteers has recently received from the cinema industry. Famed Indian cinema actor Abhay Deol is the organization’s “ambassador” in India, the country where, in addition to Brazil, Video Volunteers carries out most of its activities.

Stephen Lang is a distinguished Tony-award nominated actor of stage and screen; “an actor’s actor” according to The New York Times. His many works include starring roles in the upcoming TV series “Terra Nova” and the films “Conan the Barbarian” and “White Irish Drinkers.” He has also starred in the films “Avatar,” “Public Enemies,” “Tombstone,” “Gods and Generals,” as well as on Broadway in “A Few Good Men,” “Death of a Salesman” (with Dustin Hoffman), and “The Speed of Darkness.”

Video Volunteers has built the largest media network, of poor people making news and documentaries on critical community issues, anywhere in the world, giving a voice to thousands of unheard people in slums and villages around the world.

Those trained by Video Volunteers make videos that are shown on widescreen projectors in hundreds of villages, online, and on broadcast TV. The work has created significant impact, reducing corruption, getting teachers to come to work on time, increasing participation in elections, and creating extraordinary leaders out of people who used to be farm laborers or Muslim housewives but who now are their villages’ local journalists.

The organization’s work has been recognized by the Knight News Challenge, Echoing Green, TED, Waldzell, the King of Belgium, UNDP, UNESCO, YouTube, and others who have helped Video Volunteers elevate the voices of these rural communities.

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