Peace group challenges Germany, calls for 'leadership'


BERLIN -- Berlin's annual Cinema for Peace charity event unveiled Monday with a call from organizers and celebrity supporters Bob Geldorf, Richard Gere, Catherine Deneuve and Christopher Lee for Germany to take the lead in the fight against poverty and for peace and justice in the world.

Gere, speaking as chairman of the board for the International Campaign for Tibet, launched the press conference with a short video from Sergiu Matei. The film, of which a one-minute segment was screened, documents an incident on Sept. 30, 2006 when Chinese border police opened fire on Tibetan refugees trying to flee the country.

Calling the footage "historic and horrific," Gere said Germany, which takes over the rotating presidency of the G8 economic summit this year, had a "responsibility to encourage China to become part of the modern world (where) these kinds of actions and policies can not be tolerated."

Cinema for Peace also announced this year's award winners, with Forest Whitaker winning the best actor award for "The Last King of Scotland," Clint Eastwood winning the most valuable movie of the year for "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters From Iwo Jima" and Billie August named best director for "Goodbye Bafana."