Tuesday, 6 April 2021

First Archewell Productions Project 'Heart of Invictus' & A Special Fundraiser Gets Underway!

Good evening, I hope all celebrating had a lovely Easter weekend!

The Sussexes are kicking off April with news Archewell Productions' first series with Netflix will focus on the work that's arguably closest to Harry's heart. The appropriately titled Heart of Invictus will follow an inspiring group of competitors from around the world as they prepare for the Invictus Games The Hague 2022. The former service members will share their own stories, personal journeys of courage and determination whilst providing an insight into training and the healing power of sport. We'll see the palpable sense of camaraderie among competitors. Prince Harry is serving as an executive producer and appears in the series. He expressed his "excitement" in a statement today. "Since the very first Invictus Games back in 2014, we knew that each competitor would contribute in their own exceptional way to a mosaic of resilience, determination, and resolve. This series will give communities around the world a window into the moving and uplifting stories of these competitors on their path to the Netherlands next year. As Archewell Productions’ first series with Netflix, in partnership with The Invictus Games Foundation, I couldn’t be more excited for the journey ahead or prouder of the Invictus community for continuously inspiring global healing, human potential and continued service."

Prince Harry and Archewell Productions are "redirecting compensation" they would otherwise receive directly to the Invictus Games Foundation, an Archewell Productions representative confirmed to the Huffington Post. The Archewell website noted, "As part of that effort, the global Invictus community is being provided with access to support beyond the Games, including virtual sports activities to aid their recovery and preparation."

Invictus Games Foundation Chief Executive Dominic Reid welcomed the news, noting it will bring "significant funding".

"We’re very excited about the opportunity to shine the global spotlight of Netflix on the men and women that we work with, in order to ensure that even more people can be inspired by their determination and fortitude in working towards their recovery. This partnership will also bring in significant funding to the charity. We are extremely grateful to our Founding Patron for his continued efforts to support the military community, and for making this partnership happen."

The Oscar-winning team of director Orlando von Einsiedel and producer Joanna Natasegara (The White Helmets, Virunga, Evelyn) will bring a wealth of experience to the project. The British pair have been hailed across the industry for their ability to bring stories of importance to the screen. On their work, Joanna has said, "Each film is a huge labour of love for the contributors, crew and directors. Without exception, they each further the understanding of humanity in some way, so any recognition of that is always welcome."

Embed from Getty Images

More from Suitcase Magazine:

'Joanna Natasegara set up her UK-based production company and ethical consultancy, Violet Films, in 2014. Since then, she has produced and achieved an inconceivable amount. Virunga, the Oscar-nominated true story of the rangers risking their lives to save Africa's most precious national park and its endangered gorillas, was Violet Films' first endeavour. Alongside the gripping exposé's release, Natasegara led a global campaign - backed by Leonardo DiCaprio, an Executive Producer on the film - which successfully stopped a British oil company from illegally exploring for oil in Africa's oldest national park.

Violet Films' short documentary film, The White Helmets followed soon after. Working with charity partner The Syria Campaign, it elevated the profile of the heroic work carried out by Syrian rescue workers and went on to win the Oscar for Best Documentary Short in 2017, Netflix's first-ever Academy Award.'

Orlando von Einsiedel recalled that unforgettable night at the Academy Awards in a piece for the Telegraph:

'I’d gone to the Academy Awards in 2015, when our film Virunga was nominated for best documentary, but we hadn’t won and we’d sat through the ceremony and then been disappointed. So when The White Helmets was nominated in 2017, the producer Joanna Natasegara and I decided that we would set aside expectations and just use that platform to bring attention to the atrocities perpetrated upon Syrian civilians by the Assad regime, and talk about the extraordinary work of White Helmet rescue workers.

We weren’t the favourites to win, I believe that was a sweet film called Joe’s Violin, about a Holocaust survivor who gave his violin to a young girl. So when the announcement was made it was a total shock – almost like an out-of-body experience. I remember walking up to the stage and Barry Jenkins [the director of Moonlight] giving me a high five, which was amazing.

On stage, I read a quote from White Helmets director Raed Saleh that included a quote from the Koran, which is the group’s motto – ‘To save one life is to save all of humanity.’ And then, I remember saying to the audience, ‘Could everyone here stand up to show that we all care about the war in Syria ending as soon as possible’ – and the whole auditorium stood up. It was spontaneous – I hadn’t planned it.'

The Academy Award-winning documentary The White Helmets follows a group of indefatigable rescue workers from the Syrian Civil Defence known as 'The White Helmets'. The 40 minute short documentary is available to view in its entirety on Netflix's YouTube account.

Ted Sarandos, Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer, Netflix, said:

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Archewell Productions team are building an ambitious slate that reflects the values and causes they hold dear. From the moment I met them, it’s been clear that the Invictus Games hold a very special place in their hearts, and I couldn’t be happier that their first series for Netflix will showcase that for the world in a way never seen before."

This is an incredibly exciting first step for Archewell Productions. I doubt any of us are surprised to hear their first project with Netflix will benefit Invictus. It's going to be a fascinating watch helmed by a brilliant team. The Invictus Games are as much a part of Harry's story as those of the veterans participating. I know he and Meghan cannot wait to be cheering on in the stands again next year for the games. Until then, Heart of Invictus will bear a spotlight on our veterans and the global family that is Invictus.

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Celebrations are very much underway ahead of Archie's 2nd birthday and a virtual baby shower for Baby Sussex. Inspired by the Duke and Duchess, the Sussex Squad are marking these special occasions by raising significant funds in support of four organisations supported by the couple. In just a few days, almost $30,000 has been raised. The organisers are working directly with the charities and all relevant links can be found here.

Let's take a brief look at the chosen charities and the vital work they do. Los Angeles-based non-profit Baby2Baby distributes supplies to local families and helps children try on backpacks and other school necessities. Last August, Harry and Meghan joined volunteers handing out essentials. Indeed, the Sussexes chose Baby2Baby as one of four charities to benefit from donations in celebration of Archie's arrival. It seems fitting it's been chosen for his sister's arrival, too. At the time, a spokesperson for the couple said they chose Baby2Baby because "as a native of Los Angeles, the Duchess of Sussex wanted to include a locally-based charity from her hometown that helps children and parents in need". In the last seven years, they distributed over 50 million items to children in homeless shelters, domestic violence programs, foster care, hospitals and under-served schools, as well as children across the country who have lost everything in the wake of disasters. Click here to donate.

The Loveland Foundation was one of the first charitable partners chosen for Archewell. The organisation was established in 2018 by Rachel Cargle (Rachel appeared on Archewell Audio's holiday special) in response to her hugely successful fundraiser, 'Therapy for Black Women and Girls'. The Foundation focuses on providing accessible and affordable mental health resources. Together with Archewell, the Loveland Foundation "will continue their shared alignment of supporting marginalized communities". Click here to donate.

Veterans organisation the Mission Continues caught Prince Harry's eye as part of Archewell's acts of kindness. The Prince sent several letters to to members of the Women Veterans Leadership Program, commending them for their service. The organisation said, "A few members of our Women Veterans Leadership Program got personal notes of recognition in the mail from The Duke of Sussex, who is a veteran himself and has regularly championed our work through his non-profit Archewell Foundation - which has spent the month inspiring real acts of compassion for women across the world. In his messages, he commended each for their leadership and their service in communities." The Mission Continues empowers veterans to "continue their service, and empower communities with veteran talent, skills, and preparedness to generate visible impact". Click here to donate.

Last June, Harry and Meghan rolled up their sleeves while volunteering with the bakery and cafe teams of Homeboys and Homegirls from community social justice organisation Homeboy Industries. L.A. Magazine reported, "Meghan first learned about the program as a teenager, when she met Homeboy Industries founder Father Greg Boyle while attending Immaculate Heart High School. 'The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were just ‘Harry and Meghan’ to the homies,' Boyle says. 'They rolled up their sleeves and deeply engaged with our workers in the Bakery and CafĂ©. It was immediate kinship and heartening in its mutuality.'" Their mission? "Homeboy Industries provides hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community." Click here to donate.

Four amazing charities doing critical work at an immensely challenging time. Click here to follow the fundraiser's Twitter page.

20 comments:

  1. Thank you, Charlotte, for your thorough coverage of this great news. I'm so excited about the great talent involved in Archewell Productions' first project. It's wonderful that Harry gets to showcase his beloved Invictus Games and his dedication to veterans in this way, and that the production will benefit the Games financially. I couldn't be happier for Harry, who is finding his way in his new life.

    Also thrilled about the fund raiser honoring new baby Sussex.

    R

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  2. So glad to learn about the Heart of Invictus series. I have already seen the heart-wrenching The White Helmets documentary from the same producer and director. The virtual baby-shower just piles on the excellence!
    Thank you Charlotte!
    Renee

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  3. Thanks for as always for this great blog, Charlotte. I think you're absolutely right that the story of Invictus is very much Harry's story as well as the veterans'. His work with Sentebale and Invictus is very instrumental in developing the humanitarian that Harry is becoming. I followed the Sussex Squad a bit, and I think they have chosen very well for their celebratory event to represent Harry and Meghan's humanitarian commitments to women, mental health, food security, and the military. And of course it's a baby shower, so the babies charity as well. It's lovely to think of Harry being father to a baby girl. Harry is a good person, and he's the kind of husband and father we would all want for our daughters.

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  4. These two are just so inspiring. Personally, when I go through intense and difficult times, my instinct is to bunker down and reserve my energy for myself. H&M, despite what they've just come through, keep pouring their energy into making a positive practical difference in the world. It's truly motivating. If you want to talk about what duty looks like, this is it.

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  5. I'm thrilled to hear the first Netflix production will be on Invictus! I'm fascinated by this effort from Harry and can't wait to watch! This is an example of how Harry's new role/life can shine even more light on a cause so close to his heart.

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  6. It is very exciting all these beautiful projects; especially today we know that we can appreciate their work totally under their control and without fear of the toxic attacks of the Men of the shadows as it was before the couple detached themselves from this toxic environment which was spoiling their lives. Good luck to the Sussexes!

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  7. every event unfolding (piers Morgan largest comment about someone thanking him unbehalf of several senior members of the royal family) is a clear indication that harry makes the best decision asregards his immediate family (Meghan,Archie and soon to be born baby)

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  8. While Sentebale will always be Harry's heart, I do believe history will record Invictus as Harry's life work that will forever be sinimus with his name. Hopefully, "Heart of Invictus" will bring further light on the sacrifice and resilience of many who serve in an effort to protect all throughout the world. I think it wonderful that Harry has the opportunity to further enlighten the many.

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    1. Hopefully there will in future be more non European countries stepping up to host the Invictus Games. Some of the funding Harry is getting could be directed to ensuring that the venues are not restricted to richer western countries. it might even be possible to extend the criteria for participation to those wounded by landmines and other lethal weapons. we know that Harry has a special interest in helping them too so that would be a wonderful gesture.

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  9. PS I started to watch "The White Helmets" hoping that subtitles would appear,unfortunately not. In the six minutes I stayed with the film I better understood the plight of these people and the work of the White Helmets. I can only imagine the expose that will be produced for "The Heart of Invictus."

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  10. I salute you Charlotte for keeping us informed about the Sussexes’ work. That’s a lot to keep up. I urge fellow readers here who haven’t done so to watch “the White Helmets”. I’ve benefited by having friends from Rwanda, Bosnia and Syria. Their tales of surviving these wars are traumatizing and the sheer will to survive each day continues today. PTSD will do that to you. I’ve learned so much from them and how easy it is to take what appears to be a stable life and future for granted till one day it gets all blown away. No country is impervious to anarchy and strife. For some countries, it’s a quick descent. For others, a slow gradual decline till one is in a bad place before one realizes it. Often times, it’s because there’s such a disconnect among the lives of citizenry and among the leaders who lead. This is what happens when people live in a bubble, gilded or not.

    I think this is where non-profits like Invictus and Mind have a place in society- not to replace vital basic human services, but to support the wrap around services people need and to highlight those needs. This pandemic illustrates how important it is to have good governance and responsible, transparent governmental agencies (and responsible corporate citizenry) take the lead nationally to set guidelines and bridge local resources. This is where charities and NGOs can assist. To me, a country is failing when its people must look to charities for assistance to meet their basic human needs. Charities can never and shouldn’t have to fill such heavy role. —Maddie




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    1. Thank you, Maddie. Beautifully and thoughtfully said.

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  11. What continues to be baffling to me is that Harry's siblings are allowed to do any work they chose. I know some of them have personal charity interests, especially Eugenie, but why is the one cousin who wants to be in 100% for public service so maligned?

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    1. Simply stated, the firm is really messed up!!!!

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    2. Anon 19:50,
      You stated this so well. I too am baffled that Harry is maligned for actually helping people.
      H and M don’t just cut ribbons; they literally get involved with their hands, as we can see in so many pictures here on Charlotte’s blog.
      Renee

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    3. (I meant to say "cousins" and not "siblings" but it looks like readers understood. :)

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    4. Frankly the whole dispute has been blown up by everyone including the news media and us fans until it has turned into an unnecessary nasty dispute. There are faults and exaggerations on both sides but heres hoping that the funeral results in them all seeing that family unity is important and that they need to pull together to support the Queen in the few years remaining before she too passes on.

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  12. Thank you for this update, Charlotte! How heartened I am to see Harry continue his work with veterans and spotlight those in the Invictus Games. Excellent news & post, as usual! -op

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  13. Susan in Florida8 April 2021 at 15:12

    I’m very pleased that they chose Invictus as their first Netflix project. These two have kept their word , giving a platform to causes they care about. I agree with US Granny that this part of Harry’s life work.

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  14. I love ivictus game the Duke and duchess of sussex and harry part of life is ivictus game he shouldn't taking away these his part of his work and his life

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Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)