Avon México and Expresión en Corto Announce Fifth Annual Short Film Competition to Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence


Avon Speaks Out Against Domestic Violence at the Cannes International Film Festival


New York, NY, June 1, 2011 - At the 64th Cannes International Film Festival, Avon Mexico and Expresión en Corto International Film Festival announced the fifth annual Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Short Film Competition. The international competition, first launched in México in 2007 as a joint project of Avon México and Expresión en Corto, invites filmmakers to submit short films to raise awareness of the issue of domestic violence, with the goal of eradicating domestic violence worldwide.


The competition is part of Avon’s Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program that provides funding to domestic violence organizations for awareness, education, prevention programs and direct services for victims. Since the Speak Out program’s launch in 2004, Avon global philanthropy has committed more than $30 million to end violence against women.


“To mark Avon’s 125th anniversary this year, we’ve launched several initiatives that further our mission to empower women, including our commitment to end violence against women,” said Andrea Jung, chairman and CEO of Avon Products, Inc. “Through this competition, we have the power to affect all levels of society and help improve the lives of women and children who are victims of domestic violence worldwide. Avon and the Guanajuato International Film Festival both share one belief: that film is a powerful medium with extensive reach and long term impact, especially among younger audiences. We are proud to be participating in the Short Film Corner for the third consecutive year, as it is one of the most important platforms for short film distribution in the world and the most visible forum at the Marché du Film.”


“The statistics are alarming,” said Avon México Director of Communications and Public Relations, Jose Antonio Armas. “It takes an average of seven years for woman trapped in a violent situation to fully come to terms with her predicament and seek help. Through the Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Short Film Competition, Avon aims to unveil a harsh reality affecting one out of every three women who has been beaten, sexually assaulted or emotionally abused during her lifetime. We intend to raise awareness about this tragic situation, among both young and old, through one of the most powerful and persuasive means of communication: film.”


The Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Short Film Competition will occupy an exclusive, official space at the Short Film Corner of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The Short Film Corner is a recognized international forum for the distribution of short films, with film reviews available in catalogue form and on Short Film Corner’s official website: http://www.shortfilmcorner.com


Sarah Hoch, executive director of the Guanajuato International Film Festival, said: “After partnering with Avon Mexico for the past five years, Expresión en Corto and Avon expanded the relationship to an international commitment last year, providing an even greater platform to reach more women across the globe who may be victims of some form of domestic violence. Filmmakers from across the globe are now invited to participate in this competition and use their talent to help expose the reality of a problem that affects women and communities worldwide.”


In 2010, finalists in the competition included Spain, Mexico, Norway, Poland and the Netherlands. A few notables include Sinna Man, a film by Anita Killi of Norway which placed first; the short film Luchadoras (”Fighters”) directed by Benet Román of Mexico which placed third; and El Orden de las Cosas (“The Order of Things”) produced by César Esteban Alenda and José Esteban Alenda.


The deadline for film submissions to the 2011 competition is October 1, 2011. An awards ceremony announcing the winners will take place in Mexico City in November. The three best short films will receive cash prizes totaling 150,000 pesos. Three new categories will be recognized for the first time this year: Best National Short, Best Foreign Short and Best Documentary.


“Avon reaffirms once more its commitment to improve the lives of women around the world by empowering them in every aspect of their lives,” said Armas. “All filmmakers who have participated in this project have shown great courage, because they have spoken out to end violence against women. By sharing their vision, they have joined in the effort to help make visible what is too often invisible.”


For entry rules and additional information on the Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Short Film Competition, visit: www.avonalzalavoz.mx or www.expresionencorto.com




AVON, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with more than $10 billion in annual revenue. As the world's largest direct seller, Avon markets to women in more than 100 countries through approximately 6.2 million active independent Avon Sales Representatives. Through 2010, Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $800 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women, and today prioritizes support for breast cancer research and access to care and to end domestic and gender violence.


The Avon Foundation for Women launched Speak Out Against Domestic Violence in 2004 to support domestic violence awareness, education and prevention programs, as well as direct services for victims and their families. Through the end of 2010, Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $30 million to support awareness, education, direct service and prevention programs aimed at reducing domestic and gender violence. Globally, Avon supports efforts to end violence against women in more than 50 countries by raising funds through special product sales and raising awareness through events and with educational information disseminated by more than 6 million global Avon Representatives.


Learn more about Avon http://www.avoncompany.com/.


The Guanajuato International Film Festival (GIFF) is Mexico’s largest film festival and the most important platform for young filmmakers in Latin America. GIFF prides itself in celebrating, supporting and awarding the next generation of filmmakers. Acting as a platform for launching new careers, its national and international competition pits newcomers alongside the industry's most seasoned veterans, in an atmosphere full of camaraderie and respect, where new and aspiring filmmakers mix with industry professionals in a very open, accessible and competitive environment. During its upcoming fourteenth edition, the festival will once again establish itself as the most important platform for young filmmakers in Latin America, receiving in excess of 2,600 films from 106 countries in competition, while hosting over 86,000 total audience members who over 10 days will enjoy more than 400 films from 9am until 4am in 20 venues. All this in addition to hosting Mexico’s largest international competition as well as an abundance of workshops, conferences and tributes to both national and international filmmakers and artists, who in the past have included Tim Burton, Oliver Stone, Spike Lee, Peter Greenaway, Spike Jonze, Deepa Mehta, Kenneth Anger, Shyam Benegal, Gaspar Noé, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Lucrecia Martel and Eliseo Subiela, among others. GIFF is based in the beautiful World Heritage Sites of San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato Capital, in central Mexico, and will run this year from July 22nd to 31st, 2011. More information available at: www.guanajuatofilmfestival.com