And the nominees are...helping hungry people around the world, says WFP

Published on 24 January 2007

WFP has congratulated Djimon Hounsou and Penelope Cruz for their Academy Awards nominations and praised them for their humanitarian work for WFP. Penelope Cruz is nominated as best actress for “Volver.”

WFP has congratulated Djimon Hounsou and Penelope Cruz for their Academy Awards nominations and praised them for their humanitarian work for WFP.

Penelope Cruz is nominated as best actress for “Volver.”

Penelope's role as a mother trying to protect her teenage daughter shows her incredible versatility as an actress

WFP communications director Neil Gallaghe

Djimon Hounsou got a nod in the “best supporting actor” category for “Blood Diamond”, for which Leonardo DiCaprio also won a best actor nomination.

"Djimon has portrayed the role of a desperate father searching for his son amid the violence of Sierra Leone's civil war with dignity and passion” said WFP communications director Neil Gallagher.

War and bloodshed

“We are grateful that he is helping WFP to raise awareness about the millions of people who suffer every day from hunger caused by war and bloodshed," he said.

Djimon Hounsou and his co-star Jennifer Connelly learned first-hand about WFP’s work on behalf of refugees while shooting the film in Africa.

They agreed to do a TV spot for WFP in which they ask “What is so powerful that it can make you overcome your greatest fear…turn your brother into an enemy…and leave wounds that scar long after the fighting is over? What is so potent, it passes effortlessly from mother to child…from generation to generation?”

The answer: “Hunger—so deadly it kills 25,000 people a day.” The Public Service announcement (PSA) is running on TV channels, websites and in cinemas around the world.

Nomination

Spanish actress Penelope Cruz won a nomination for “Volver. “Penelope's role as a mother trying to protect her teenage daughter shows her incredible versatility as an actress. She is not only one of the best actresses in the world, she shows her heart by always offering to help the weakest in the world; hungry women and children" added Gallagher.

Penelope Cruz, who in 1997 worked as a volunteer in Uganda and even has her own non-governmental organisation to help homeless girls and tuberculosis sufferers in India, shot a PSA for WFP and urged viewers to help in the fight against hunger.

WFP, the world’s largest humanitarian agency, hopes that the exposure generated by the Warner Bros. Pictures film “Blood Diamond” will help raise much-needed awareness of hunger and poverty, which stalk more than 850 million people globally.

A taste of reality

The film includes scenes depicting realistic aid operations as undertaken by WFP in the '90s while feeding thousands of war victims who fled within Sierra Leone and to neighbouring countries.

At the time, WFP aid workers witnessed acute humanitarian needs and untold levels of violence and cruelty, similar to those depicted in the movie.

Some of the photographs used in the film trailer are part of a WFP/Benetton campaign launched in 2003, called “Hunger”, which featured powerful, intimate photos of war victims, including ex-combatants and amputees.