In addition to showing international films, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival annually honors members of the film industry who have made contributions to international social issues. This year’s recipients are actor Danny Glover and his producing partner Joslyn Barnes.
Glover is both a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and a recipient of an Amnesty International Lifetime Achievement Award. A longtime union activist, he has supported the United Farm Workers and Unite Here, an international hotel and food services union. He serves on the board of the TransAfrica Forum, the oldest African American foreign policy organization in the U.S.
In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Glover said, “The threat of what happens to Haiti is a threat that can happen anywhere in the Caribbean to these island nations … they’re in peril because of global warming.” He is developing a film on Toussaint Louverture, leader of the 18th-century slave rebellion in Haiti that ended French rule. Opposing the Iraq War before its inception in 2003, he joined other prominent speakers in a protest at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco that year.
As an actor, Glover first won acclaim for his roles in “Places in the Heart” (1984) and “The Color Purple” (1985). He performed in the “Lethal Weapon” franchise, and among his most recent films is “Gridlocked” (2015). Together with Joslyn Barnes, Glover founded Louverture films, which produces independent films of historical and social relevance. Among the films Glover and Barnes have produced is “The House I Live In,” which won a 2012 Sundance Grand Jury Award.
A writer and producer, Barnes has served as a U.N. program officer and consultant. She won the 2017 Cinereach Producer Award and the 2017 Sundance Institute Amazon Studios Producer Award. Her travels in Africa and Asia have led to articles by her on trade and social development as well as a variety of other issues on Africa and developing countries.
Past Global Citizens Award honorees include Sharon Stone and Matthew Modine.