WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Acton Institute was awarded Atlas Network’s prestigious Templeton Freedom Award for its documentary film Poverty, Inc.
“On issues of international development and foreign aid, our country is at a tipping point,” said Acton Institute Executive Director Kris Mauren. “While entrenched interests remain, mounting evidence is causing people of all political stripes to question whether their actions are really helping the poor. This is where Poverty, Inc. comes in. Operating under the conviction that thoughtful documentaries change culture, we designed Poverty, Inc. to spearhead a broad reconsideration of poverty that is nonpartisan but pro-market.”
Poverty, Inc. is changing the culture of aid. Drawing from more than 200 interviews filmed in 20 countries, this feature-length documentary unearths an uncomfortable side of charity that we can no longer ignore. By tracing paternalism from the colonial era to contemporary times, Poverty, Inc. helps viewers to abandon the tired paradigm of aid in favor of proven reform centered on free enterprise and human dignity. It makes a persuasive case that the most effective solutions to poverty lie in unleashing entrepreneurs to find new, innovative, and efficient ways to meet people’s needs.
“This is profoundly important work being advanced by Acton Institute,” said Atlas Network’s CEO Brad Lips. “It contains good news: the solution to poverty already exists, in the entrepreneurialism of the poor themselves. It also conveys a challenge: to retire the top-down systems of aid delivery that bring as many problems as benefits.”
Poverty, Inc., which covers topics such as international orphanages, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the 2010 Haiti earthquake, TOMS shoes, Bono, and U.S. agricultural subsidies, has already been screened on more than 150 occasions to more than 10,000 people in 16 countries and 22 U.S. states. The film has earned official selection honors at nearly 40 domestic and international film festivals, collecting more than 12 awards in the process.
Awarded since 2004, the Templeton Freedom Award is named for the late investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton. The award annually honors his legacy by identifying and recognizing the most exceptional and innovative contributions to the understanding of free enterprise, and the public policies that encourage prosperity, innovation, and human fulfillment via free competition. The award is generously supported by Templeton Religion Trust and was presented during Atlas Network’s Liberty Forum & Freedom Dinner closing ceremony Nov. 12, 2015, at New York City’s at historic Capitale. The winning organization received a $100,000 prize and the five runners-up received $5,000.
About Acton Institute
Acton Institute’s mission is to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.
About Atlas Network
Washington-based Atlas Network is a nonprofit organization that strengthens the worldwide freedom movement by connecting 466 independent partners in 100 countries that share the vision of a free, prosperous, and peaceful world where limited governments defend the rule of law, private property, and free markets.