Working with global NGO, Education Above All, we created this short film to describe the plight of 57million children – that they are denied their right to basic education and with that their opportunity to improve their lives, often lived in poverty. Filming took place with Syrian refugees in Lebanon, indigenous tribes in the Amazon rainforest, poverty stricken children in DRCongo, girls in Rajasthan and children avoiding drugs and violence in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Meryl Streep kindly gave her time to provide the voice over. I wrote the words. Production house was Quite Frankly Productions in London, Lies Deneys directed.
The evening kicked off at the Hermitage Club with an exclusive dinner with special guest, actress Meryl Streep. Also in attendance were Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and Congressman Peter Welch. The fundraising dinner was sold out, with 115 guests paying between $1,000 and $5,000 per plate. Donors paying for the $2,500 and $5,000 plates also had their photos taken with Streep.
Streep was at the event at the behest of her friend, Wilmington Fund VT founder and president Dan Kilmurray. Kilmurray says he has known Streep’s family for years. “Her brother and I met and became dear friends when I was about 18,” Kilmurray said. “I met her when she graduated from Vassar. When I was in the process of launching this fundraising event, I asked her if she would help.”
During an after-dinner chat hosted by Kilmurray’s wife and co-founder of Wilmington Fund VT, Tamara Kilmurray, Streep said that one of the reasons she was willing to help the Wilmington Fund was because she was familiar with the town. After she left Dartmouth College for Vassar, she said, she continued to travel between the two colleges on trips to visit her boyfriend at Dartmouth. “Wilmington was my halfway point,” she said. “I used to stop at a little ice cream place on Route 9 that isn’t there anymore (Gene’s KreeMee).”
Streep also found an unexpected connection to the area. Rep. Ann Manwaring told her that the bottles of Vermont maple syrup on the tables were donated by local business owner Ed Metcalfe, who had attended elementary school with Streep. “Oh, little Eddie Metcalfe?” Streep said. “Is he here?” But Metcalfe wasn’t in attendance.
What a wonderful event last night: great
@joan_osborne concert, enthusiastic crowd (just happened to include Meryl Streep), perfect setting.
Tweet – @WilmingtonFund
Meryl n me backstage at my show in Wilmington VT, fundraiser for Hurricane Irene relief. I am geeking out!! pic.twitter.com/d6C79ek4V4
Tweet – @joan_osborne
Meryl Streep giving me the eye for being Miss NC USA when I’m originally from Vermont! She is such a… http://instagram.com/p/cCOoWQrKcT/
Meryl Streep’s recipe for wheatberry salad, taken from a new book in aid of the charity Women for Women.
Serves 4-6 as a side dish
I have approximated this recipe from a salad I enjoyed at the Grocer On Elgin in London. This was my lunch of choice every single day we shot the film Mamma Mia!, in the rainiest summer London had seen for a while. It evoked Greece, and smiles, and has a bright, light taste. Enjoy!
4-6 pepperoncini, or pickled green peppers
4-5 spring onions, green parts only, sliced
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
25g mint leaves, chopped
110g pomegranate seeds
100g feta cheese, cubed
Cook the wheatberries according to the packet instructions. Set aside to cool completely, then tip into a bowl. Add the pepperoncini or pickled green peppers, spring onions and olive oil and toss to combine. Stir in the mint and pomegranate seeds and toss in the cheese. Season to taste. This salad is great served at room temperature or chilled.
A-list celebrities like Angelina Jolie, superstar journalists like Christiane Amanpour and icons like Donna Karan flocked to the Women In The World Summit to stand up for women’s rights.
Here’s a video with short pieces of interviews with the stars who attended the event on the red carpet. There’s a short part where you can see Meryl too. Some are also talking about who inspires them – Meryl’s mentioned by Christiane Amanpour.
And a video with part of Meryl’s speech, this one’s with better quality.