The Acton Institute has been named as one of six finalists for this year’s $100,000 Templeton Freedom Award for its documentary film, Poverty, Inc. The announcement of the finalists was made Monday by the Atlas Network, a Washington-based organization that advances the work of market-oriented public policy organizations all over the world. The winner will be selected Nov. 12 in New York.
Atlas’ description of Poverty, Inc. says the documentary “provides a comprehensive perspective on the issue, giving voice to charity workers, local micro-entrepreneurs, politicians, and leading development experts such as Paul Collier of Oxford University, Marcela Escobari of Harvard University’s Center for International Development, and Hernando de Soto of Atlas Network partner the Institute for Liberty and Democracy. This film is part of Acton Institute’s multi-year educational initiative, PovertyCure, which also includes a dedicated website, a group study curriculum, a mentorship program, and a ReThink Missions toolkit.”
Kris Mauren, executive director of the Acton Institute, said that on issues of international development and foreign aid, the United States is at a tipping point.
“While entrenched interests remain, mounting evidence is causing people of all political stripes to question whether their actions are really helping the poor,” he said. “This is where Poverty, Inc. comes in. Operating under the conviction that thoughtful documentaries change culture, we designed Poverty, Inc. to spearhead a broad reconsideration of poverty that is nonpartisan but pro-market. Already we’ve seen strong evidence of success, including a big victory at the Anthem Film Festival, kind words from Michael Moore, and screening requests from NGOs around the world.”
Documentary film maker Moore, not ordinarily known for his fierce defense of capitalism and free markets, recently said of Poverty Inc.: “Once you watch it, you’ll never see poverty and the Third World the same again.”
Named for the late investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton, the Templeton Freedom Award annually honors his legacy by identifying and recognizing the most exceptional and innovative contributions to the understanding of free enterprise, and the public policies that encourage prosperity, innovation and human fulfillment via free competition. Awarded since 2004, the Templeton Freedom Award beginning in 2013 is generously supported by Templeton Religion Trust.
Finalists for the Templeton Freedom Award must have:
- Achieved strategic impact (in areas of policy impact, social impact, academic impact, media impact, or student impact, etc.).
- Made innovative contributions to the field of free enterprise education or policy research.
- Laid the groundwork for future progress in improving countries’ scores in rankings of economic freedom (e.g., The Index of Economic Freedom or the Economic Freedom of the World report).