Lawrence Bender has enjoyed a long and illustrious career in the film industry, working with writers and directors to shape projects that have become a cemented part of pop culture and cinematic history.
Beginning back in 1992 with Reservoir Dogs, Bender is now in his third decade of producing stories that move, empower, challenge and compel their audiences. In fact, he’s in the midst of juggling two projects that tackle hard issues, which is true to form for Bender’s work. The much-anticipated reboot of 1999-2002’s Roswell series will return to screens via the CW later this year, taking the sci-fi cult fan favorite and giving it a new immigration-focused twist in the plot in order to grow relevance and connectivity to today’s modern audiences. Cast confirmed to date includes Jeanine Mason in the leading role, Nathan Parsons, Lily Cowles and Heather Hemmens. The production has also recently confirmed its shooting location of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where production will begin this month. Another current project, Seven Seconds, is a ten-part series taking the shape of a Netflix Original. Seven Seconds tells the story of what happens to a small town once a young black male is shot dead by a white policeman, and the racial tension that stirs throughout the investigation to follow. With Netflix’s accessibility to audiences across the world, this powerful narrative series provides a fresh way to experience the ongoing tension that marks the United States as an epidemic of young black males continue to experience harm at the hands of on duty police officers.
However, even amongst his busy production schedule, Lawrence Bender has always carried great compassion and empathy for many worthy causes, using his work to elevate charities and organizations and increase their abilities and resources. On March 22, 2018, he will co-chair the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability Gala alongside Alexandria Jackson. This red carpet gala will be hosted at the Beverly Hills home of Jeanne and Tony Pritzker, and will see special guests honored for their pivotal work across a broad spectrum of environment issues. This year’s honorees are Keely Shaye Brosnan (Director and Producer, Poisoning Paradise), Pierce Brosnan (Executive Producer, Poisoning Paradise) and Van Jones (Green For All and Dream Corps Founder).
The UCLA IoES Galas are highlight events in Hollywood’s social calendar each year, with a huge number of celebrities and game-changers turning up to lend their support to this worthy and vital cause.
Joined by the biggest names in the environmental community, these events represent powerful opportunities for two industries who can both benefit from mutual support to mingle, join forces and work towards outcomes that will provide increased environmental sustainability and protection.
Lawrence Bender won’t be the only Hollywood player in the room tonight, as he’s joined by a strong host committee which includes Courteney Cox, Laura Dern, Goldie Hawn, Felicity Huffman, Queen Latifah, Lyn and Norman Lear, Chloe Grace Moretz, Barbra Streisand and Amber Valletta. For those who cannot attend, there are sponsorship opportunities that allow for absentees to join in with their support for this important organization and its ongoing work.
The UCLA IoES Gala is a wonderful night of celebration and respect for those whose work in the environmental arenas represents groundbreaking initiatives and utmost dedication. Van Jones, one of this year’s honorees, was one of the first individuals to recognize that connecting economic vitality with social justice and the environment would provide the greatest level of opportunity in as far as achieving a sustainable future. Another nominee, Keely Shaye Brosnan, was able to put her experience as a journalist and media producer to work in order to uncover and tell compelling environmental stories. The third nominee, Pierce Brosnan, has used his platform to move into an activist space, where he helps environmental organizations at the forefront of their areas fight for the planet.
Although the UCLA IoES is a clear example of how producer Lawrence Bender uses his platform to highlight causes worth championing, it’s also powerful to examine how he has continued to use his platform as a storyteller and content producer to bring important issues to the forefront of the public collective. Through employing the power of storytelling, Bender is able to highlight issues of diversity, fairness, equality, and opportunity in a way that’s accessible to the everyday individual. His work spans the field of many social issues, with recent work touching on immigration policy, racism, equal opportunity and many more.
If you’re looking out for more of Bender’s work, his upcoming feature The Widow (starring Isabelle Huppert and Chloe Grace Moretz) will make its way out of post-production in time for a tentative premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in 2018.
Learn more about GlobalZero and their efforts towards a world without nuclear weapons.