Eagle-eyed Oscar viewers probably noticed that some stars were wearing blue ribbons on their gowns and tuxedos. The ribbons were the brainchild of nominee Gregg Helvey, director of the short film Kavi, and are meant to draw attention to the problem of modern-day slavery worldwide.
According to the film’s website, Kavi is the story of “a boy in India who wants to play cricket and go to school, but instead he is forced to work in a brick kiln as a modern-day slave.”
Helvey tried to distribute 100 ribbons before the ceremony, according to the Mumbai Mirror’s Aseem Chhabra:
“Morgan Freeman has a ribbon and Pete Docter who directed Up and his Pixar crew also have them,” Helvey, 31, himself a nominee says. Helvey’s film Kavi, a moving 19-minute-long film about a child labourer, bonded in slavery at a brick kiln in Maharashtra, has been nominated for the best short film (live action) category. “I am trying to get other nominees involved with it.”
Helvey especially hopes that he can convince George Clooney to wear the ribbon. “I used to be George Clooney’s intern,” says the University of Southern California graduate. “I saw him at the Oscar nominees’ luncheon on February 15. I don’t know if he remembered me, but I went and introduced myself. And he said ‘Hey intern to nominee that’s not a bad jump.”
Watch the trailer for Kavi below:
Kavi lost to the Danish film The New Tenants.