Participant issues call to action for 'Darfur'

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NEW YORK -- Participant Prods. unveiled its social action campaign for its feature film documentary "Darfur Now" on Tuesday, including the release of a 30-second PSA starring Desmond Tutu, Barak Obama, Brad Pitt and Don Cheadle and its social action Web site at www.participate.net/darfurnow.

The film, which opened Friday in New York and Los Angeles and expands to 15 additional U.S. cities this weekend, chronicles the struggles and achievements of six different individuals in Darfur and around the world who are trying to bring an end to the crisis.

Rated PG, the movie is a call to action for people everywhere to end the catastrophe in Darfur, and the social action campaign seeks to shine a light on the crisis at a time when peace talks are faltering and the deployment of more than 20,000 peacekeeping troops is occurring too slowly, Participant said.

Others featured in the PSA include actors Jessica Biel, Sophia Bush, Josh Peck, Lauren Conrad and Lauren Bosworth; hip-hop artist Common; pro athletes Tracy McGrady, Steve Nash and Donovan McNabb; former Olympic champion Rafer Johnson; and model Lauren Bush. Cheadle co-produced and appears in the film as well as the PSA.

The social action Web site highlights the various organizations working to resolve the conflict and provide humanitarian support, and it gives visitors the opportunity to become involved. Among the suggestions are creating your own video message that can be sent to government representatives from the site, accessing educational materials including an Amnesty International curriculum, learning about divestment from the Sudan Divestment Task Force and donating through programs such as Jewish World Watch's Solar Cookers, Relief International's micro credit loans and World Food Program, among others.
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