Colin Firth to receive humanitarian award

Actor's philanthropic actions speak louder than words

Audiences know him best as Mr. Darcy, but humble humanitarian might be a better pseudonym for Colin Firth.

As an Oxfam ambassador, Firth has challenged Italy Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi over aid issues, helped prevent the deportation of African refugees and met with Ethiopian coffee farmers, which led to the founding of London-based fair-trade coffee chain Progreso. Firth also is a supporter of Survival Intl., an org supporting tribal peoples’ rights, and is co-owner of Eco-Age, a London-based ecological retail shop and consultancy.

But this year’s BAFTA/ L.A.’s humanitarian honoree refuses to be another celebrity with a cause.

“I try to resist the soapbox,” Firth says. “Unfortunately, I think the more you speak out, the chances are greater that you will lose your credibility, so I try to be as strategic as possible.”

Firth’s latest undertaking occurred last month at the London Film Festival, when he launched Brightwide, a website showcasing social and political world cinema.

“Having (exec produced) a documentary (“In Prison My Whole Life”), I noticed that while (social/political) films often don’t get enough exposure, they do make audiences that get to see them want to act. Brightwide is a place where these films can not only be shown and discussed but also a place that lets people know what they can do next.”

Firth’s next philanthropic activity remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, he won’t be boasting about it.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety