In 2006, filmmaker Jehane Noujaim was awarded the TED Prize. Each TED Prize winner is allowed to ask for one wish and TED will leverage the power of the attendees to make the wish come true (pretty cool, huh?)
Jehane’s wish – “I wish to bring the world together for one day a year through the power of film.” Ta da – Pangea Day was born.
This Saturday, May 10, 24 short films selected from thousands of submissions will be broadcast globally. The films range in length from 2 to 15 minutes (most of them around 5). In addition to the films, a dozen powerful three-minute talks from scientists, film-makers, story-tellers and global visionaries will be featured. These talks will cover the latest ideas in anthropology, psychology and technology.
In addition to the main locations of Cairo, Kigali, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro, Pangea Day will be available on TV in a ton of countries. In the US, the full four-hour program is being carried live on Current TV. Star TV will carry it in China/India/Asia, MGM Networks in Latin America, Sky in the UK, several partners in the Mid-East, and many more around the world. The timings areÂ Saturday, May 10th 11am-3pm US West Coast, 2-6pm US East Coast, 7-11pm in UK, 8pm-midnight in Europe and much of Africa, 9pm-1am in the Mideast, 11.30pm-3.30am India, etc.
You won’t just be watching the show though. You’ll be watching it with tens of thousands of people around the world and the audience reactions will be broadcast. As the TED email about Pangea Day said “Watching a film about reconciliation is one thing. Watching it while simultaneously witnessing the reactions of people who are supposed to hate each other will be something else altogether.”
Can film change the way people think? Can it change perceptions about countries and alien cultures? Watch Kenya sing the Indian national anthem.
To me, the answer is yes.
I happened to be at TED when Jehane gave her acceptance speech. I’ve been waiting to see this wish come true and I will be spending four hours this Saturday being part of Pangea Day.