Acclaimed filmmaker and activist Mira Nair is this year's honorary recipient of the Woodstock Film Festival’s 3rd annual Meera Gandhi Giving Back Award. The award honors a director, producer or actor who best delivers a message of social change and exhibits a strong compassion for philanthropy.
In addition to accepting the award, Nair will participate in the annual BMI-sponsored Music For Film chat at the festival along with Mychael Danna, the Academy-Award winning film composer who recently won Best Original Score for his work on Life of Pi.
After several years of making documentary films, Mira Nair made a stunning entry on the world stage with her first feature, Salaam Bombay! in 1988, the first Indian film to win the Camera D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Nair used the profits from the film's debut to create the Salaam Baalak Trust for India's street children. Her other films include Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair, The Namesake, and most recently TheReluctant Fundamentalist.
A statewide competition in Massachusetts hopes to help up to 20 small cities find ways to solve major problems through collaborations.
The Working Cities Challenge, which will launch on Friday, intends to revitalize small and medium sized post-industrial cities in the commonwealth by bringing together leadership from the public and private sectors to brainstorm and initiate their own solutions. Eligible cities in Western Massachusetts include Pittsfield, Westfield, Springfield, Holyoke, and Chicopee.
An endowment of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation , the Robert and James Hardman Fund, awarded grants to 18 separate non-profits in Northern Berkshire County. The money supports a variety of community initiatives including non-profits in the arts & culture, health, human and social services, environmental advocacy, and others.