Motema Compilations
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The Same Heart Film Premiere and World Music Concert March 31

Featuring Awa Sangho “The Golden Voice of Mali,” Economist Dean Baker and Filmmakers Len & Georgia Morris

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An Evening of Activism at The Howard Theatre to Lift A Billion Children Out of Poverty One Transaction At a Time

Imagine a world where over a billion children are no longer trapped and dying in abject poverty. The Same Heart offers a fresh and practical plan to rescue these children. Award-winning filmmakers and activists Len and Georgia Morris of Media Voices for Children join with the Grammy Award-winning record label Motéma Music, the Child Labor Coalition and the Blue Note Entertainment Group to premiere their documentary The Same Heart, featuring five Nobel Peace Laureates – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Kailash Satyarthi, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Mairead Maguire – Nobel economists Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman and ethicist Peter Singer who advocate for a progressive Financial Transactions Tax. The tax is an effective tool to raise billions of dollars annually to meet the needs of impoverished children in the United States and abroad.

March 31 @ Howard Theatre: Benefit Screening and World Music Concert
This event is part of a worldwide advocacy movement to improve the lives of one billion poor children by advocating for a financial transactions tax (FTT) in the U.S. The evening includes:  1) the Washington, D.C. premiere of The Same Heart; 2) a Q&A session with the filmmakers and economist Dean Baker; and 3) the release of the film’s soundtrack featuring Awa Sangho, the “Golden Voice of Mali,” who headlines the evening’s world music concert. A lifelong advocate for children’s issues, Sangho is a singer/songwriter/dancer/percussionist from Mali who has performed with legends including Salif Keita, Ali Farka Touré, Manu Dibango and Amadou & Miriam. The former lead singer for the pioneering all-women group Les Go De Koteba, Sangho released her Motéma Music solo debut CD Ala Ta to much praise. Afro Pop declared it “…an exceptional debut…a work that establishes her as one of the most powerful and creative African singers…” She has performed at Celebrate Brooklyn, SOBs, the United Nations and for President Bill Clinton. Other artists included in the soundtrack who will perform are virtuoso bassist/composer Charnett Moffett and acclaimed trumpeter/composer Volker Goetze.

The Same Heart Documentary / The Financial Transactions Tax. The film proposes a tiny tax – 1/10th of 1% – on all financial transactions (stocks, bonds, credit default swaps, currency exchange, etc.) that would produce hundreds of billions of dollars a year to address child poverty. At a fraction of a penny per trade or transaction, it’s painless to the investor and ensures that untaxed banks pay their fair share. Sixteen countries already utilize an FTT, but the U.S., which accounts for one third of the global economy, is opposed. The ultimate goal of The Same Heart is to support this worldwide anti-poverty movement and to help promote passage of a bill through Congress to enact the tax in the U.S. The term “the same heart” comes from the Old Testament meaning, “sharing a common vision and purpose.”

Filmmaker Len Morris comments, “This is not a frivolous enterprise. We have the full support of the Child Labor Coalition. There are over a million signers of a global petition endorsing a financial transaction tax, and ten countries in the European Union are implementing the tax in 2017. This is within our reach, and it could be a game-changer for the world’s poorest children.”

The advocacy film was shot in eleven countries and is narrated by respected journalist and activist Charlayne Hunter-Gault. The global cast includes seven Nobel Laureates who join their voices with community activists and children from Kenya to Baltimore – part of a growing movement that puts the needs of children at the center of the world economy. The Same Heart is the third film in a trilogy on children’s human rights produced by Massachusetts-based Galen Films. The trilogy began with Stolen Childhoods (2005) on global child labor and Rescuing Emmanuel (2009), an examination of the life and struggles of a Kenyan street boy.

The Same Heart Soundtrack / Motéma Music. The lush music that comprises the The Same Heart soundtrack was donated by the GRAMMY Award-winning independent record label Motéma Music and the artists who wrote and performed the songs. The soundtrack includes 15 world, jazz and soul music tracks by 11 artists and is a digital-only release worldwide. Benefit CDs will be available, however, for sale at screenings of The Same Heart. Motéma’s CEO/Founder Jana Herzen says, “The music enriches the emotional power of this important film and represents the world – from Mali to Morocco to New Orleans, New York and beyond. We provided everything at no cost because of our commitment to social consciousness and positive change, and because ‘Motéma” means heart. I believe we do share the same heart, and music is its heartbeat. We will donate half of any proceeds to Media Voices for Children to further assist this critical advocacy work on behalf of the world’s impoverished children.

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March 25, 2016

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