THE PEACE TREE PREMIERE
December 7th
· Toronto
 

Winner of the Liv Ullman Peace Prize at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival 2005  and the Audience Prize at the Taiwan International Children's Film Festival 2006, a film by Mitra Sen, Producer/Director of the award-winning film 'just a little red dot...' winner of 12 international awards.

We loved the film and we loved the kids.  The Peace Tree should be shown in every classroom across this country and as far as it can go around the world. It’s an absolutely splendid project.  It’s a simple thing and yet it’s a message that needs to permeate our society.  This film is just too compelling not to be heard.                         

Jason Shaw

The success of The Peace Tree is remarkable not just as a film, but as a clear strong message of peace and hope.  It’s clear from its success at many film festivals, that The Peace Tree’s message is truly universal, however it has particular relevance in Ontario.  If there ever were an ideal place to come up with the idea of a Peace Tree, it would be here.  I think the story of the Peace Tree really symbolizes the promise Canada holds for many immigrant families – the promise of a society with different religions, cultures and origins are an inspiration to all citizens where the tolerance and openness fostered by our diversity creates hope for all to come.  It is no surprise to me that  The Peace Trees message has resonated so powerfully, that it has created Peace Trees in schools all over the world.  A story of children working together sharing their cultural and religious celebrations and in doing so creating harmony and peace is a great story.  The Peace Tree tells that story so well and is a testament to all of those involved in creating it.  I offer my congratulations to everyone who took part in the production of the film.

The Honourable Monte Kwinter, Minister of Public Safety and Correctional Services

What a wonderful movie for Toronto, what a beautiful movie to have made here. It exudes peace, it exudes love, it says we must understand one another. It is just so good –The real message here is that we should listen to our children as they can figure out how to make our world a better place.  The message comes across so well and the kids are great.  Congratulations on an effort that will bring many accolades and promotes such strong positive values. I look forward to working with you on this very deserving project and to creating Peace Trees in the city. 

Paula Fletcher, City Councillor

It was a wonderful evening with a wonderful film and amazing children.  I am thrilled to be here in support of Mitra and the fantastic work she does with talented children from every background.  I am busy thinking about ways I can get people to see the film.

Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission

What a wonderful event you organized last night. I think it was a resounding success.  I don’t know how you make those little kids do all the nice things.  I think you have mastered the art of influencing little kids to see the world in peaceful and diverse manner in a very natural way.

I have now seen the film 4-5 times, as anyone who comes to our house wants to see it.  I can see the fine details, and gestures that you paid so much attention to.  The use of colours and music is wonderful.   I am sure you will get many more awards, but even more importantly, it will influence thousands of kids and adults.  Sorry about the long e-mail, but I am truly excited about what you do!      

Khursheed Ahmed

It was a special privilege to have gone to the premiere showing of the Peace Tree on December 7, 2005. I am delighted that Bhupatrai Bhuta told me about the screening.  It was a pleasure meeting you and to learn of the wonderful success The Peace Tree has had already and will continue to have in the years ahead.  The production was sensitively put together, artistically and beautifully produced and the acting was excellent.  I found the experience very moving.  The three young actors were wonderful and they were such a delight performing their role as master of ceremonies.   I thought the story line presented well the struggle of the parents and the quiet determination of the children to overcome the culture barrier and embrace each other's culture in a respectful manner.

You are to be congratulated on a masterful production that will do much to bring a greater sense of peace through respect for one another's cultures.  The world will be blessed as will all who embrace the concept of peace in diversity.  Well done!!
 I hope the message of The Peace Tree reaches all the schools and touches many in the community to cherish and respect all our neighbours.

Bob Windsor

The Peace Tree was a stunning production. Besides being technically perfect, rich in colours, excellent acting particularly by the young innocent girls with subtle dialogue which was thought provoking and hilarious, it struck a very important message -------------“unshackle parochial thinking of the dark ages, have tolerance, understand and celebrate all cultures”. This will bring peace and harmony to this world.

At the Peace Tree Premiere, the three little girls who were the Masters of Ceremony did a superb job along with an dignified speech by Mitra Sen.  The multicultural dances by children of different faiths made the movie even more enjoyable and gave the audience impetus to react euphorically throughout the film and as they left the theatre which I have never seen before in any movie.

At the turn of last century, I thought we would be at the peak of civilization. There will be peace, prosperity and harmony in the world. But alas!  Politically motivated religious and cultural differences have created great turmoil in the world. The Peace Tree demonstrates how to live in harmony, bringing joy, happiness and peace. I wish there were more movies like the “Peace Tree” which will educate and enlighten the world.

Bhupatrai Bhuta

Audrey and I both enjoyed The Premiere immensely.  The movie is so lovely with all the beautiful bright colours.  The three little girls who played the leading roles were just wonderful.   It was a delightful idea to have them act as Masters of Ceremony for the evening.   I got the autographs of Sonika and Aiishwariya at the reception.   The food at the reception was delicious - such a good idea to have a combination of Japanese, Indian and other delicacies for everyone to enjoy.  Thanks again for a really memorable evening. 

Marcia Cuthbert

I went with my wife and two children to the screening of The Peace Tree, and both my wife and I were very moved by the movie.  Taking on a subject like this can be ripe with difficulty, and it is easy to fall into the trap of the contrived and maudelin.  However, to both our delight, the young actors carried themselves with such ease and naturalness that it made the movie and its theme so very powerful.  I only wish every screening would have them as hosts!

Pavneet Arora

A week after viewing the Peace Tree, I am still thinking of the movie and the impact it will have on the families across ours and other countries for years to come.

As I watched the scene where mother and daughters sat together, I struggled along side Mrs. Jamal (Ayesha Adhami) as she considered how her decision might affect her children and the family unit.  As parents, we often wonder and dwell on the notion that   the decisions we make or have made may 'ruin' our children or lead the direction of our family life into unknown territory.  It is an overwhelming feeling and watching Ayesha Adhami portray a mom at this juncture brought me close to tears.

If we can reach children (and parents) at this age with movies like this, the Peace Tree will become a host for the Banyan Tree.  We must act as the supporting branches, sending down roots so that our children can absorb them.  Only then can this wondrous tree spread its welcoming shelter across our great country.

Thank you for reminding me of where many of my roots were planted, at your home, with your family, in peace.

Mara Zadnoff

 

The Peace Tree shares the story of two young girls, one Muslim and one Christian, who both dream of celebrating each others festivals, Christmas and Eid, but are met with resistance at home when they share their dream with their parents. Through their struggles they create a unique symbol - The Peace Tree - a tree that highlights the symbols of all our cultures and faiths on one tree, to reflect the beauty of 'diversity in unity'. The film has triggered the creation of Peace Trees by children in schools around the world.
Please visit
www.sandalwoodproductions.com/peacetree.

The Peace Tree has been invited to twelve international film festivals to date including Fici Children's Film Festival in Spain, Taiwan International Children's Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Melbourne International Children's Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival and was recently invited to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

The Peace Tree was produced with the generous support of....

 

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