For the second year in a row, Sean Penn will look to the generous crowds in attendance at the Cannes Film Festival to help raise hope for the earthquake-devastated people of Haiti.
During the 2011 festival, the 51-year-old was honored at the Cinema For Peace inaugural Cannes dinner with more than $1 million in donations to his J/P Haitian Relief Organization. This year, he'll join Paul Haggis’ Artists for Peace and Justice and Petra Nemcova's Happy Hearts Fund at the "Carnival in Cannes," an event benefiting all three organizations and honoring their work in the country.
“I am proud to stand alongside Sean Penn, a man cut from a very rare cloth," said the host for the evening Giorgio Armani. "He first captivated me as an astonishing actor. Then as a respected director. Then as a loyal friend. And now, as a life changer. It is an honor to be a part of Sean’s remarkable life of service by joining his humanitarian efforts for the people of Haiti. For this to come to fruition at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival marks a career milestone for me, and demonstrates what happens when you work with Sean, a world-class force of nature."
A fund-raising dinner (likely featuring plenty of A-list celebs) will be held on May 18. It will feature RaRa and Racine music, created with the RAM band, Haiti’s leading Racine group.
Penn, who late last month was honored at the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates for his humanitarian work in Haiti, says the fate of the country still very much remains in the balance.
"We have four years to solidify the seeding of institutions that can create sustainable democratic solutions. Four years that without a reinvigorated surge of support will leave the people's will up for grabs," he said.
"It's quite a task, but a doable one with investments in agriculture, education, health care, housing, clean water and recognizing it's a country of 9 million people — but it's also only 9 million people."
To become involved or donate to Penn's organization, jump here.