VENICE, Italy (RUSHPRNEWS) 9/3/08 – Actress Natalie Portman has long been a defining example of the socially conscious Hollywood set. She has been a vegetarian since childhood, spoken out for animal rights, supported anti-poverty initiatives and encouraged political activism.
The Venice Film Festival took the time to honor Portman’s humanitarian efforts Sunday, according to the BBC, lionizing the Long Islander with its first Movie for Humanity award.
As part of the nascent recognition, Portman was presented with a $50,000 grant, which she earmarked to benefit a Tanzanian scholarship program for underprivileged and gifted girls run by the Jane Goodall Institute, the news service reported. Founded by eponymous primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, the organization is dedicated to the study and protection of great apes and their habitats.
“The Jane Goodall foundation does incredible work in Tanzania, an area which is very environmentally affected,” Portman told the BBC. “I really appreciate this award.”
Portman, 27, who co-starred in the three most recent live-action “Star Wars” films, made her directorial debut at the Venice Film Festival with “Eve,” a short film. She has shaped her career by choosing primarily controversial big-screen roles, including an assassin’s orphan ward in “The Professional,” a conflicted stripper in “Closer” and a modern-day British revolutionary in “V for Vendetta.”
SOURCE: Hollywood Today