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Philomena Lee to Be Honored by Women's Rights Group

Philomena Lee Speaking at Event - P 2014
Jerod Harris/WireImage/Getty Images
Philomena Lee

The Feminist Majority Foundation will present its Eleanor Roosevelt Award to the inspiration behind one of this year's best picture nominees.

Philomena Lee, the Irish nurse portrayed by Judi Dench in Philomena, is set to receive the highest honor from the women's rights group Feminist Majority Foundation.

Lee will receive the Eleanor Roosevelt Award during the Global Women's Rights ceremony on May 5. The Los Angeles event is being chaired by Mavis Leno and Jay Leno.

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"Philomena Lee belongs to the bravest category of warriors, the person who defies threats of shame and retribution and tells," said Mavis Leno. "Now, because of the Philomena Project, thousands of other women whose children were not given away, but stolen, may have help finding the sons and daughters they never got to take home. They will not have to die with their stories untold and their children's stories unknown to them."

Philomena tells the true story of Lee, who was forced to give up her son for adoption when he was 3. Fifty years later, she set out to find him with the help of a British journalist.

"It is thrilling when a motion picture sets the stage for real humanitarian activism, as is the case with Philomena," said Katherine Spillar, executive vp of the Feminist Majority Foundation. "It is even more thrilling when the power of a film and the power of a determined woman bring us to an imminent reversal of an inhumane condition."