New York City—Human Rights First today announced that it will honor the film The Report with the organization’s 2019 Sidney Lumet Award for Integrity in Entertainment. The Lumet Award will be presented at the organization’s annual awards dinner on October 28 in New York City. Amazon Studios will release The Report in theaters on November 15 and launch the film on Amazon Prime Video on November 29.
Each year the Sidney Lumet Award honors a work of popular culture that raises awareness about human rights and provokes discussion about some of the most pressing political and social issues of our time.
“At a time when our political debate is particularly rancorous and dispiriting, The Report is an important reminder of the impact that one individual can have by tenaciously pursuing the truth, even when it is ugly and uncomfortable. It is only by learning from our mistakes that we can move forward as a nation,” said Human Rights First President and CEO Mike Breen. “In the years since the Senate report revealed the horrors of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, many have erroneously clung to the idea that torture either worked or was justified. The Report, however, courageously shows the true moral and national security costs of torture.”
The Report explores the tireless struggle of Daniel J. Jones, supported by his boss, Senator Dianne Feinstein, to uncover the true nature of the cruel, unethical and ultimately ineffective “enhanced interrogation techniques” being employed by the intelligence community following 9/11 and to overcome concerted efforts by the CIA, and others in government, to suppress the findings of the nearly 7,000 page report.
“The films of Sidney Lumet had a huge influence on me growing up—Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico and Network in particular taught me the power of cinema to inform and inspire and affect change. I am honored to tell the story of Daniel J. Jones and the members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who worked to make this terrible truth known. And I am grateful to Human Rights First for all they have done—and continue to do—to make certain that truth guides our country going forward,” said filmmaker Scott Z. Burns.
Human Rights First has been at the forefront of the torture debate, working in partnership with military leaders and interrogation and intelligence professionals to advocate for an executive order signed by President Obama banning the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques, and eventually legislation championed by Senators Dianne Feinstein and John McCain ensuring that our country will never torture again.
Human Rights First’s Sidney Lumet Award for Integrity in Entertainment, which honors the legacy of acclaimed writer and director Sidney Lumet, will be presented at the organization’s annual Human Rights Award Dinner in New York City on October 28, 2019. Previous recipients of the Lumet Award include 12 Years a Slave, RBG, The Handmaid’s Tale, Eye in the Sky, Homeland, and The Good Wife.