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Award-winning Filmmaker to Speak at UCR


Award-winning Filmmaker to Speak at UCR

Documentary producer Abigail Disney will discuss women as peace-builders in annual peace studies lecture on May 12.

(April 27, 2011)

Abigail DisneyEnlarge

Abigail Disney

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Abigail Disney, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and peace activist, will present the 2011 Forest S. Mosten Lecture in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 12, at the UC Riverside Alumni and Visitors Center, 3701 Canyon Crest Drive.

Admission to the lecture is free. Parking is free with the printed flier, which can be obtained at ideasandsociety.ucr.edu.

Disney’s lecture is titled “Women as Peace-Builders.” She is known for her documentaries on social themes and for her work as founder of Peace is Loud, an organization that supports female voices and international peace-building through nonviolent means. With her husband, Pierre Hauser, she is co-founder and co-president of the Daphne Foundation, a social change foundation that provides grants to grassroots, community-based organizations working with low-income communities in New York City.

Her documentary “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” won numerous awards, including Best Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival, Blessed Are the Peacemakers Award from the World Council of Churches and the Audience Choice at the Jackson Hole Film Festival. The film chronicles the story of Christian and Muslim Liberian women who came together to pray for peace outside the Presidential Palace, a nonviolent protest credited with reinvigorating stalled peace talks.

“Abigail Disney displays the ways film and philanthropy can be used in the service of peace-building, where matters of social justice are seen as the bedrock of peace,” said June O’Connor, professor of religious studies at UCR. “Her range and reach, from local groups in New York City to international venues such as Liberia, together with her passion and contribution are impressive.”

Disney, a niece of the late Walt Disney, also has produced the documentaries “Family Affair,” “Playground” and “Sun Come Up.” She is working on a five-part television series, “Women, War & Peace,” co-produced by WNET and her production company, Fork Films, for broadcast on PBS this year. Through unreported and moving stories of women in Bosnia, Columbia and Afghanistan, the ground-breaking series will focus on women’s strategic role in the post-Cold War era, where globalization, arms trafficking, and illicit trade have created a new type of war.

Disney holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, a master’s degree from Stanford University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. She serves on many boards, such as the Roy Disney Family Foundation, the White House Project, the Global Fund for Women, and the Fund for the City of New York. She lives in New York City with her husband and their four children.

The lecture series is named for Forrest S. (Woody) Mosten, a Los Angeles attorney who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCR in 1969 who funds the lecture series as well as student internships with organizations that promote peace-building or conflict resolution in an effort to support peace studies at the university.

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The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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