Annenberg Film “Emile” Accepted Into Two Film Festivals

The short film about peace and conflict researcher Emile Bruneau will feature in the Global Peace Film Festival and the Morehouse Human Rights Film Festival.

By Julie Sloane

To know Emile Bruneau was to admire him. A peace and conflict neuroscience researcher, Bruneau’s life mission was to bring together groups in conflict, and his research made great strides in that direction. Having lost Bruneau in 2020 to brain cancer, his friends and family consistently speak of his legacy as “spreading Emile’s light.”

More than a year before his passing, Bruneau reached out to the Annenberg School communications staff, and specifically documentary filmmaker Shawn Kornhauser. He had an idea for a series of videos about his research, which Kornhauser made. But Kornhauser was so riveted by “Emile’s light,” that he visited Bruneau at home to make a second, more personal film, which became the short documentary, “Emile.”

To date, this 16-minute film has been accepted into two film festivals — the Global Peace Film Festival and the Morehouse Human Rights Film Festival — and will be shown in them later this month.

“I am ecstatic that ‘Emile’ is going to have a chance to be put in front of a wider audience,” says Kornhauser. “The entire goal with the film was to spread Emile’s words to as many people as possible and I’m hopeful that these festivals are just the beginning.”

In the film, we watch as Bruneau embraces his glioblastoma diagnosis with surprising positivity, working closely with his collaborators to accelerate the timeline of his research. At the same time, he reflects back on his life, including the experience of growing up with a schizophrenic mother and how that built his empathy, and considers how to prepare his two young children for the loss of their father.

The film will show first in the Morehouse Human Rights Festival, and will be available on demand from September 23-25.

By promoting understanding and appreciation for world cultures, artistic and creative expression, and a commitment to global issues and social justice, the Morehouse College Human Rights Film Festival (MCHRFF) aims to engage the College and connect with filmmakers, humanitarians, social justice organizations, and festival attendees from all over the world.

The fill will also be available in the online component of the Global Peace Film Festival from September 27 through October 3.

Since 2003, the Global Peace Film Festival has used the power of the moving image to further the cause of peace on earth. From the outset, the Festival envisioned “peace” not as the absence of conflict but as a framework for channeling, processing and resolving conflict through respectful and non-violent means.

Each year, the program is carefully curated to create a place for open dialogue, using the films as catalysts for change.