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Friday, 14 January 2011 00:02

American Humane Association Honors Director Jon Turteltaub

Written by  Dyana Carmella
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event_americanhumane2webOn January 12, 2011, the American Humane Association honored Director Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure,The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) by presenting him with their National Humanitarian medal at an open house held at the American Humane Association Film & TVUnit’snew location in Studio City, Calif.

“We wanted to invite the people that we work with on a daily basis in the industry to come and share a night with us and have some face time that’s not always on set or across from a desk, and on top of that we are also honoring director Jon Turteltaub,” said Jone Bouman, the Film & TV Unit’s director of communications.“Jon is one of those guys who talks the talk and walks the walk.Not only does he make sure American Humane is on his set, not only is he wonderful about the humane treatment of animals on his set, but also in his personal life [he] really cares.”
event_americanhumane1webjpg“I’m one of those corny guys who fell in love with animals because I had a dog and it just changed my whole point of view on animals,” said Turteltaub. The director also admitted to not being a huge animal activist. “I do think, however, that this next century is going to be significant for the moral and ethical relationship between animals and people. I was always taken by Gandhi’s comment that said, ‘You can always judge a civilization by how they treat their animals.’ It shows the way a society has a sense of empathy and a sense of morality and its place within a community. But I’m not the guy throwing paint at the ladies in Paris with their fur coats.”
The American Humane Association fosters the “No Animals Were Harmed”stamp of approval and monitors animal action on more than 2,000 film and television productions each year. President/CEO Robin R. Ganzert, Ph.D. mentioned they just finished wrapping work on Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, which takes place during World War I. “We talked with Steven and his producer Kathleen Kennedy, and we discussed in the very beginning of production that the accuracy about dealing with animals during World War I was true because we were there,” said Ganzert.“We believe in the well being of animal actors, so it’s not just an animal on the set, it’s an animal actor that is part of the magician in Hollywood that we see with all these wonderful folks who make the magic happen. Animals also make the magic happen on set and so for us it’s about giving voice to the voiceless magicians in Hollywood.”
Turteltaub was honored as he accepted his award in front of an applauding crowd. “Anyone who gets an award leaves knowing that the award is there to get you to deserve it,” he said.“It encourages you to do more, and I want to thank them for reminding me that there is a lot to do in this world, in this area and I need to do more.”
For more information on the American Humane Association Film & TV Unit, please visit www.americanhumane.org/film.

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