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Ben Affleck Releases Short Film To Highlight Congolese Need

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affleck_gimmieThe short film documentary Ben Affleck has been working on for several months finally received a name and a release during a press conference at the United Nations today. Titled Gimmie Shelter, the film focuses on the violence and conflict-related hunger and disease rampant in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Affleck has traveled to the region four times since 2007 to talk to those directly affected by the strife, particularly families forced to flee the fighting. An estimated 1.3 million people have been displaced.

“We made this film in order to focus attention on the humanitarian crisis in the DRC at a time when too much of the world is indifferent or looking the other way,” said Affleck. “The suffering and loss we’ve all seen first-hand is staggering — it is beyond belief. We all need to stand up and support the work of organizations like UNHCR who are on the ground offering protection and working hard to ensure the rights and well-being of refugees,” he added.

Joining Affleck in the effort is Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger — who donated the Stones’ hit “Gimmie Shelter”from their 1969 album “Let it Bleed”.”I hope this video will help highlight the plight of the hundreds of thousands of displaced people and also the thousands of innocent people who are needlessly losing their lives there,” he said.

Over $23 million is expected to be raised through sales of the video. All of the money will benefit relief organizations in the region. Gimme Shelter will be distributed world wide via the internet, television, mobile phones, cinemas and hotel chains.

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