Susan Sarandon: Honored by Middle East International Film Festival
Academy Awards winning actress Susan Sarandon told about her responsibilities as an actress and activist on Thursday during the second annual Middle East International Film Festival.
Susan Sarandon was 'guest of honor' at a screening of social documentary "The Shape of Water". The documentary was narrated by Sarandon. The documentary revolves around the local activism of five women in Brazil, India, Jerusalem and Senegal in response to such issues as oppression and lack of economic freedom.
In a panel discussion, Susan Sarandon said, "These women represent films which have resulted in a tipping of consciousness and made a difference. In the U.S. we don't have the opportunity to see these films; even English(-language) documentaries are hard to find. Festivals are a wonderful opportunity for people to see documentaries they might not normally see".
Joined by a panel that included French actress Carole Bouquet and panel host and festival director Nashwa Al Ruwaini, Susan Sarandon spoke about Jane Fonda, who was honored for her social activism in cinema at a tribute and gala dinner Wednesday evening at the lavish Emirates Palace, where much of the festival takes place.
Susan Sarandon said, "Jane Fonda led the way in activism; as an actor and activist you have to ask yourself, 'Can I really not do something?' In a job where people feel used, it's great to be able to use back, to shine a light on social issues".
This year, a range of films highlighting social awareness, environmental and cultural issues are screening at MEIFF in an effort to present the fest as more than just a destination for finance-seekers hungry for a share of its $1 million prize fund.