Cinema for Peace hosted a special event honouring of His Holiness Pope Francis, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky at the Vatican and in Rome today, which was followed by a screening of the film “Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”, at the European University of Rome.
Cinema for Peace has honoured the biggest icons of mankind in the past, from Muhammed Ali to Nelson Mandela, groundbreaking women like Dame Jane Goodall, men who changed the world such as Mikhail Gorbachev, film artists such as Sean Penn for his work in Haiti, Angelina Jolie for opposing genocide, George Clooney for creating critical consciousness with the film “Good Night, and Good Luck”; and introduced a “Green Oscar” with Leonardo DiCaprio and a Justice Award with the chief prosecutors of the International Criminal Court.
But this is the first time that two global leaders and one filmmaker were honoured with a joint award and that the awards are dedicated to someone — the children who lost their lives in the war in Ukraine. The three awards have an engraving of pictures of three innocent children who were killed on March 08, 2022, by a missile — Obodzinsky Volodymir (14 years old), Deyneko Nicol (1 year old), and Deyneko Denis (1 year old). The father of these children who lost his entire family to the war, Volodymyr Obidzinskyi, accompanied Cinema for Peace at the honouring and the film screening and mentioned that he now finds solace in believing that his wife and children are protected in heaven. The audience shared the pain with him and were in tears.