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Movie Premiere: Clint Eastwood’s Invictus
The French Premiere of Invictus was hosted by UNESCO in Paris on 11 January 2010. The objective was to highlight the power of “sport for reconciliation”, and the importance of the fight against racism to the cause of peace and conflict resolution.
Movie Premiere: Clint Eastwood’s <i>Invictus</i>This major event was organized by UNESCO, the United Nations’ lead agency for Physical Education and Sport (PES), in collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures and Havas Sports & Entertainment. The UNESCO Premiere brought together political figures, UNESCO Champions for Sport and VIPs from the field of sport to celebrate and advocate for the power of “sport for reconciliation”.

Before the screening of Invictus, the Master of Ceremony Christian Jeanpierre (sport commentator and winner of the prestigious Micro d’Or) was joined on stage by Bernard Lapasset (Chairman of the International Rugby Board) who handed the World Cup trophy to Nelson Mandela in 1995, and David Douillet (UNESCO Champion for Sport) who read a message from Clint Eastwood. UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences spoke on UNESCO’s work on sport for peace and development. Other VIPs who attended the premiere included former President of France Valéry Giscard d’Estaing; Minister Plenipotentiary to the South African Embassy, Shoayb Casoo; former New Zealand rugby star Andrew Mehrtens; and footballers Emmanuel Petit and Mikael Silvestre.

The film Invictus is produced and directed by Clint Eastwood and is based on Nelson Mandela’s life during the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. Against the backdrop of Mandela’s release from prison and his election as President of South Africa, the film follows Nelson Mandela’s efforts to use the 1995 Rugby World Cup as a vehicle to unite the nation after the end of apartheid. The film features Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, and Matt Damon, as François Pienaar, the Captain of the South African Rugby team.

Message from Clint Eastwood for the French premiere of Invictus

I am particularly pleased with the screening of my latest movie Invictus, at UNESCO Headquarters, as it is an ideal place to show this film which means so much to me. Not only due to the unique personality of Nelson Mandela, and through the playing of sport (in this instance rugby but it could be any sport), but especially due to the links which sport can establish between communities, races, nations and political systems.

Alas, is sport not more often manipulated by commercialism nowadays? As is the same case with cinema, starting with Hollywood. Even I, shielded by the special status my movies may have given me, often find it difficult to carry out certain projects.

Therefore I am glad to say, to the audience gathered here tonight, that this projection at UNESCO is really heartwarming.

Enjoy the screening,

Clint Eastwood

UNESCO and Sport for Reconciliation

Invictus echoes and amplifies the message of UNESCO’s "Sport for peace and development" programme by illustrating the power of sport to promote the values of peace, solidarity, and tolerance. Sport plays a significant role as a vehicle for social integration and economic development, as well as communicating and instilling values of tolerance and fair play.

The practice of sport is a recognized instrument for breaking down the barriers and transcending the divides between the communities and countries, both during and following situations of conflict. As such, UNESCO’s programme on Sport for Peace and Development promotes sport’s demonstrable ability to unite society in an unparalleled way globally, bridging gaps across races, cultures and various poverty lines.

In its efforts to use sport as a catalyst for peace and social development, UNESCO offers help and assistance to NGOs, governments and experts on the formulation of human rights-based policies in this field.

UNESCO’s Physical Education and Sport programme (PES) has a number of elements, namely:

Phone: +33 (0)1 45 68 45 38

Movie Poster: © Warner Bros

Author(s) UNESCO
Publication Date 11-01-2010

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Quick Link to this page: www.unesco.org/shs/sport/invictus

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