Film industry official to head new AIDS group

By admin

Originally published on Advocate.com June 03 2004 11:00 PM ET

Jack Valenti, CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, on Thursday announced he is leaving the film organization to become president of Washington, D.C.-based Friends of the Global Fight, a group aimed at supporting the United Nations-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, reports The Wall Street Journal. The organization was founded by the founder of software company BEA Systems and works to lobby U.S. lawmakers to appropriate funds to treat the diseases in developing countries. The group also intends to seek support from the public for international disease efforts, including through a film, titled Hope to Fight For and narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks, that focuses on the impact of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in poor nations.

"In less than 10 minutes this film sums up the reason why I am involved and why Americans should be involved," Valenti said in a statement. "We're going to take this film to Americans, from churches to schools, Capitol Hill and Hollywood, to show that there is hope to fight for in this great effort to turn the tide on global disease. And then we're going to give them an opportunity to participate, act, and give."