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Film News Roundup: Jane Fonda, Elizabeth Olsen Honored by Environmental Media Association

In today’s film news roundup, Jane Fonda and Elizabeth Olsen are set to be honored by the Environmental Media Association, David Ninh gets a new gig, and elephant documentary “Love & Bananas” gets a release.

HONORS

The Environmental Media Association will honor Jane Fonda, Ray Halbritter, Mike Sullivan, and Elizabeth Olsen on June 9 at its Honors Benefit Gala in Los Angeles.

Fonda will receive the Female EMA Lifetime Achievement Award and Halbritter, CEO of Oneida Nation Enterprises, will be given the Male EMA Lifetime Achievement Award. Olsen will receive the EMA Futures Award. Sullivan, owner of LAcarGuy, has been selected for the EMA Corporate Responsibility Award.

Past EMA Honors recipients include Michael Bloomberg, Sir Richard Branson, Matt Damon, Elon Musk, Natalie Portman, Jaden Smith, Justin Timberlake, and Shailene Woodley.

Fonda and Halbritter are both longtime champions of the Environmental Media Association and Halbritter is a member of its board of directors.

Olsen is being recognized for her involvement with the Latitude Project, installing clean water filters in the homes of Nicaraguan residents after Hurricane Nate. Sullivan has prioritized running a green business as the leading hybrid, fuel cell, and electric dealerships in North America.

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“We are so thrilled to be able to honor our long-time friends, EMA champions, and rising forces in the environmental world with a dedicated night showcasing their efforts,” said Debbie Levin, EMA president and CEO, in a statement.

“These leaders have helped further our cause by taking action and vocalizing environmental issues,” the statement continues. “There is no voice stronger, more respected and more authentic than Jane Fonda in defending the rights of global citizens to protect our natural resources and all of Earth’s inhabitants with a safe environment; Elizabeth Olsen is that curious, passionate, boots on the ground ‘real life heroine’ that we need so badly to be heard by the next generation.”

EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENT

Kino Lorber has hired David Ninh as director of press and publicity, beginning at the company on April 23, Variety has learned exclusively.

He will report to the company’s senior VP, Wendy Lidell, and to CEO Richard Lorber for corporate communications.

Ninh was previously at Kickstarter as its senior communications specialist overseeing press and publicity outreach for film, arts, and culture. He also worked on company launches like Kickstarter’s DRIP funding subscription tool for creators and helped manage the company’s partnership with Sundance Institute to collaborate with filmmakers on launching campaigns.

He was Kickstarter’s first film media relations executive and advised filmmakers, artists, and creators on engaging and building community during the initial funding stages of many notable film and arts projects. Ninh also formerly worked at the Film Society of Lincoln Center for four years on its publicity team, promoting the organization’s year-round programming, theatrical new releases, and repertory programming.

Prior to his tenure at Lincoln Center, Ninh was an account executive at PMK—BNC, working on major national media and corporate accounts, after several years as the entertainment and style staff writer for the Dallas Morning News.

Kino Lorber recently opened Sophie Fiennes’ “Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami,” Rüdiger Suchsland’s “Hitler’s Hollywood,” Bill Gunn’s restoration of “Personal Problems,” and Rachel Israel’s “Keep the Change.”

DOCUMENTARY RELEASE

Abramorama has announced that 22 theaters across the country will host screenings of Ashley Bell’s documentary “Love & Bananas” on April 22, which happens to be Earth Day.

GreaterGood.org has announced that it will join forces with the filmmakers to form the Love & Bananas Fund. Devoted to improving the health and well-being of people, pets, and the planet, GreaterGood.org will launch the fund in tandem with Abramorama’s nationwide release. The fund’s initial goal is to raise $40,000 by Earth Day to rescue an Asian elephant named Sivilai, and to provide critical medical equipment and supplies to the Elephant Nature Park and Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary for ongoing care.

The film follows Asian elephant conservationist Sangdeaun Lek Chailert’s mission to eradicate elephant trekking altogether. The film had its world premiere at the D.C. Environmental Film Festival on March 16 and will be the opening night film of the KCET Environmental Film Festival in Los Angeles on April 20.

The film will open in New York City on April 27 and in Los Angeles on May 4. More than 25 additional cities will  follow those openings.

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