The Better World Fund, a Paris-based Endowment Fund using arts and cinema to raise awareness about pressing global issues, conducted a successful series of events across Dubai from 25th - 26th March 2022, highlighting ocean conservation and the blue economy.

As part of the Oceans Fortnight that took place at Expo 2020 Dubai, the Better World Fund hosted a Mastermind and Academia on 25 March. Boasting a strong line up of speakers the event brought together activists, academics and industry experts to discuss the pressing issue of conserving the planet’s oceans and bringing to the fore innovation and solutions.

One of the key highlights within the diverse programme of events, included the screening of the powerful film ‘Bigger Than Us’ by Director Flore Vasseur at Infinity Des Lumières at Dubai Mall on 26 March. The film was followed by an insightful Q&A session with the film’s director, Flore Vasseur.

Left to Right: Screening of ‘Bigger Than Us’ by Director Flore Vasseur at Infinity Des Lumières at Dubai Mall and Award Winners at the Better World Fund Gala Dinner at The Ritz Carlton, DIFC on 26th March

The film, which was also in the official selection of Cannes Film Festival 2021, has received global acclaim and encapsulates the fight of Melati Wijsen, the 18-year-old protagonist of the movie who decides to go around the globe to meet her peers, young activists just like her, who already have managed to have a huge impact in their fields thanks to their conviction and determination to make the world a better place.

The two-day event culminated with a Gala Dinner featuring an exclusive fashion show from The Atelier Couture by global fashion icon, Professor Jimmy Choo OBE, and co-hosted by Middle East Fashion Council.

An Awards ceremony also took place during the Gala Dinner. During the event, a total of six awards were presented to honour individuals who are making meaningful change and positively impacting the world.

The award for best commitment for their engagement in cinema and culture went to His Excellency, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Faisal Al Qassimi and Tomaz Zaleski, Chairman of the Royal Private Office of His Highness.

The award for best commitment for the protection of the Oceans was given to Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, Ambassador and Special Envoy of President Macron for the One Ocean Summit Ambassador of France for the poles and maritime issues

Flore Vasseur, Director of the film ‘Bigger Than Us’, won the accolade for Best Commitment. Yvan Bourgnon, President and Founder of SeaCleaners was honoured for Best Achievement while French icon actress Marion Cotillard was also recognised in the same category. In line with the United Nations Sustainability Goals (SDGs), the two-day event aimed to raise awareness on the immediate need to protect the world’s oceans and promote the blue economy, uniting filmmakers, writers, scientists, environmentalists, activists and business leaders to explore and make tangible efforts to address environment, biodiversity and climate challenges.

“The planet is one of the most concerning issues of the day and we need to go beyond mere lip service to action, which is why events like this are so important” said, Manuel Collas de la Roche, President and Founder, Better World Fund.

“These events are a perfect place to bring together the world’s greatest minds in an international environment where sustainability is in the ethos of the entire event.” He added.

One key partner, MCONTENT, announced that it will produce up to ten short films that are eco-conscious. The list of supporting partners for the extraordinary two-day events included Mastercard, ENGIE, 3.14 Cannes, Middle East Fashion Council, Infinity des Lumières,, MCONTENT, Maslina, Almoe, Luxury Magazine, Dubai Media Incorporated, Chic Icon, Ambassade de France aux Émirats Arabes unis, France EXPO 2020 Dubai, Fondation Paris-Saclay, Université Paris-Saclay, Chefs4thePlanet, The SeaCleaners, Floresta,, Reviscience, Art, Paul, Elke Berr Créations, Eco Ocean, Twenty Five Hours Hotel, Green Cross, Squair, Union Life, OCF, Tarkett, SDB, AllDetails, Skwal, Planete Katapult, and Satram dass B & Co.

About The Better World Endowment Fund

The Better World Endowment Fund is looking to change the world one step at a time with its series of films and documentaries from different countries to defend, promote and support all those actors and leaders committed to take action for a more sustainable future.  The Better World Fund future events for 2022 will include the Cannes Film Festival on May 22 & 23, the Venice Film Festival September 8 & 9, and Red Sea festival in Saudi Arabia slated for the end of 2022. The main theme for 2022 is ‘protection of the seas and planet’ and it is being highlighted through different themes such as the Mediterranean Sea, rising waters, and the conservation of coral reefs.

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