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A Movie that started a Movement, from producer Lawrence Bender

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   There was wildlife all around at the recent National Wildlife Federation's 75th anniversary celebration. Real wildlife such as an eagle, cougar, porcupine, and a grey wolf, among the celebrities and other attendees at the NWF's "Voices for Wildlife" gala. I got up-close with six-foot-plus Spike the alligator, because I've had a strong affinity for the reptile since I was in the (1980) movie-thriller "Alligator."
   It was important to show the animals to the supporters of the organization, according to Larry J. Schweiger, president and CEO of the NWF, "to inspire a love of wildlife, and to reinvigorate our commitment to protect them." Every guest at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel event got a copy of Schweiger's powerful book "Last Chance, Preserving Life on Earth."
   The event was emceed by comedienne Annabelle Gurwitch who handed out awards to acclaimed nature photographer Howard Ruby, founder of Oakwood Worldwide. Chevy Chase presented to world-renowned animal expert Jack Hanna ("Into the Wild").
    The Wildlife Hero honor went to film producer Lawrence Bender, who exploded onto the Hollywood scene with the cult-classic "Reservoir Dogs." He has gone on to produce Quentin Tarantino's films, among many other productions. Bender was acknowledged by the NWF because he produced the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," for which he won an Academy Award.
   Bender talked about the impact of turning Al Gore's environmental slideshow into a movie to spread awareness of climate change. Following the film's success, Bender noted, "I was able to see first hand with 'An Inconvenient Truth,' how much a movie can educate and start a movement." Kudos for making a movie that makes a difference.
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Guest Friday, 24 October 2014
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