June 1-4, 2017

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Meet the 2016 Changemakers

The Changemaker Gala is the most prestigious event of the Greenwich International Film Festival. It honors artists who’ve used their voice for positive social change. The 2016 Changemaker Gala took place on Friday, June 10th, with a cocktail reception at Betteridge followed by an awards dinner at Richard’s. Kathie Lee Gifford served as Master of Ceremonies and Senator Blumenthal also made remarks on behalf of the honorees. Trudie Styler received the Changemaker Award for her work with the Rainforest Fund, a charitable foundation dedicated to the support of indigenous peoples and traditional populations in their efforts to protect their environment and fulfill their rights,www.rainforestfund.org. Freida Pinto received a Changemaker Award for her work on behalf of Girl Rising, an organization that uses storytelling to inspire action that gets girls into classrooms worldwide, www.girlrising.com. Abigail Breslin received the Rising Changemaker Award and spoke on behalf of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), an organization that acts as a catalyst for changing society to have zero tolerance for domestic violence, www.ncadv.org. A portion of the proceeds from the Changemaker Gala went to the Rainforest Fund, Girl Rising and the NCADV. Learn more about the GIFF Changemakers below:

Trudie Styler

Trudie Styler is an actress, film producer, director, human rights activist, environmentalist, organic farmer and UNICEF Ambassador. In 1989, Trudie and her husband Sting started the Rainforest Fund, an organization devoted to protecting rainforests and their indigenous peoples in South America, Africa and Asia, raising more than $30 million for the cause. Trudie produced award-winning documentaries and feature films through her company Xingu Films and is now a partner in New York-based production company Maven Pictures, whose first feature Girl Most Likely, starred Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening and Matt Dillon, closely followed by Filth, which starred James McAvoy and Black Nativity, which starred Forest Whitaker. Maven Pictures currently has several films in various stages of development and production, including Freak Show based on the bestselling book by James St. James, starring Abigail Breslin and Bette Middler, as well as Wilding, starring Liv Tyler. Trudie has numerous stage credits in both the US and UK, including roles for the RSC. Recent film work includes her highly acclaimed performance in Living Proof and Paul Haggis' The Next Three Days.

Trudie has made seven hugely popular mind-body fitness released by Gaiam. She is also an organic farmer and producer of highly acclaimed Italian wines under the Il Palagio label which are exported throughout Europe and the US.

Abigail Breslin

Academy Award-nominated actress Abigail Breslin is one of the most sought-after actors of her generation. Most recently, Breslin starred in the first season of the horror-comedy series, "Scream Queens." On the big screen, Breslin was most recently seen in the Lionsgate film "Maggie" opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival in New York and was released on May 8, 2015.

In October of 2015, Harper Collins published Breslin's first book "This May Sound Crazy". The book is based on her popular Tumblr "Mixtapes & Winter Coats," in which she writes honest, funny and emotional observations on her daily life as a young adult. Breslin is also currently working on her debut album, "The World Now," which will be released in 2016.

Breslin was seen in The Weinstein Company film "August: Osage County" opposite Meryl Streep, Ewan McGregor, Julia Roberts, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney and Juliette Lewis. Most widely recognized for her role in the critically-acclaimed "Little Miss Sunshine," the irreverent, antic comedy which created a sensation at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, Breslin played the role of 'Olive,' an ambitious young girl who is obsessed with winning a beauty pageant. For her performance, she received a Best Actress Award from the Tokyo International Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award, SAG and BAFTA Best Supporting Actress awards. In addition, she was honored as ShoWest's "Female Star of Tomorrow" in 2008.

Freida Pinto

Indian-born actress Freida Pinto attended St. Xavier's College in Mumbai before embarking upon a career in modeling. The striking young woman had no trouble attracting attention in the industry, and within a few years she caught the eye of filmmaker Danny Boyle, who cast her in his 2008 Academy Award willing film, Slumdog Millionaire. She then appeared in the Woody Allen-directed 2010 comedy You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, before tackling the title role in 2011's Miral, an autobiographical drama about an orphaned Palestinian girl drawn into the conflict following the Arab-Israeli war. She appeared in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and starred in Michael Winterbottom's modern retelling of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Ubervilles. Most recently, Pinto was featured in Terrence Malik's Knight of Cups, co-starring Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, and Natlie Portman. Between 2006-07, she anchored 'Full Circle', a travel show which was telecast on Zee International Asia Pacific. She went on assignments to Afghanistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Fiji among other countries.