Pitt, Jolie donate $100K to Pearl charity
Actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie announced last week that they would donate $100,000 to a foundation established in the name of American journalist Daniel Pearl, a Jewish Wall Street Journal reporter killed by Muslim radicals while investigating a story on Islamic extremism in Pakistan in early 2002. Pitt and Jolie are currently in India filming A Mighty Heart, a drama based on a memoire by Marianne Pearl, Daniel Pearl's wife.
The gift was announced on what would have been the journalist's 43rd birthday. "On this day our thoughts go out to Danny's family," Pitt and Jolie said in a statement issued to People magazine. In the film, which Pitt is producing, Girl, Interrupted Oscar winner Jolie will play Marianne Pearl, with Oscar-nominated Truman screenwriter Dan Futterman set to play the slain reporter.
The Daniel Pearl Foundation promotes cross-cultural tolerance and understanding through journalism and music. - Nathan Burstein
'Aunt Freda' best play at Acre festival
Aunt Freda, a charming and offbeat tribute to couturier Freda Orender by her great-niece, Naomi Yoeli, won the NIS 45,000 Andrea Bronfman Prize for Best Production at last week's Acre Festival of Alternative Theater. Awards of NIS 7,000 were also given to Abigail Graetz's Verbal Wrongs, Unity of the Name by the Kaheref Ayin Troupe and Planted, an installation by the Eyfo Dana troupe. The play Story of a Lonely Man won the NIS 25,000 America Israel Foundation Creativity Prize for author Ofer Amram, while the play's producer, Arye Rosen, was named best producer.
Officials estimated that close to 250,000 people visited the festival, which took place in and around the Old City of Acre. The festival's general manager, Albert Ben Sheloush, said that 90% of the 15,000 available tickets had been sold, a 30% increase over 2005. - Helen Kaye
British TV star backs health group
A British Jewish TV star donated tickets for an upcoming show to be auctioned off to raise money for a Jewish health group. All proceeds from the sale of the tickets for Matt Lucas' comedy performance will go to the Jewish AIDS Trust, which provides health and HIV education for young Jewish people in schools and youth movements and support for Jewish people living with HIV and their careers. Lucas is the star of the BBC sitcom Little Britain, one of the most popular television comedies in England. - JTA