Greenwich International Film Festival Announces 6 Community Impact Awards

The Greenwich International Film Festival (GIFF) announced on Tuesday that they are awarding not one, but six Fairfield County based organizations with the GIFF Community Impact Award.  

Recipients will receive $100,000 directly from GIFF Grant Funding at the virtual Community Impact Award Ceremony on February 6, 2021.    

Submissions for the Community Impact Awards were open to any Fairfield County based tax-exempt organizationthat provides education, health care or basic human rights benefits to those in need.  The Community Award recipients are Abilis, Building One Community, Family Centers Inc, Filling in the Blanks, Food Rescue US, and The Rowan Center.  These organizations provide critical aid and support individuals with special needs, victims of sexual violence and those facing immigration issues, food insecurity, and mental health challenges.  Information on these organizations, as well as details on the direct impact GIFF funding will make to each is included further below.  

“Since our inception Greenwich International Film Festival has been committed to sharing stories and inspiring individuals to help build a better community and a better world for all of us. We are proud of the work these organizations are doing and are thrilled to be able to give a platform as well as direct financial assistance to them through our Community Impact Awards,” said Wendy Stapleton, GIFF Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board.  

Inspired by the overwhelming number of submissions from deserving organizations throughout Fairfield County, GIFF expanded the amount of award recipients from one to six, and they are also launching the new “Make An Impact” campaign.  This campaign will highlight an additional fifteen organizations, known as Community Champions, and engage and empower the local community with the opportunity to raise additional funds for the Community Champions.     

The 15 GIFF Community Champions Are

Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, Avon Theatre Film Center, Circle of Care for Families of Children with Cancer, Clothes To Kids Fairfield, Greenwich Center for Hope & Renewal, Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich Scholarship Association, Greenwich United Way, Kids In Crisis, Partnership To End Human Trafficking, REACH Prep, Special Education Legal Fund, The Connecticut Invention Convention, The Open Door Shelter, and YWCA Greenwich .

“Harnessing the power of film to serve the greater good has always been a pillar of GIFF’s mission. Through our Changemaker Honorees and work with humanitarians such as Harry Belafonte, Ashley Judd and Eva Longoria, GIFF has championed charitable organizations focusing on social justice, domestic violence, women’s rights, health care and environmental issues.  However, after a year of unprecedented struggles for so many, we are turning our focus on giving back on a local level through the Community Impact Award and Make An Impact Campaign,” said Ginger Stickel, GIFF Executive Director in a release.

The Community Impact Award recipients and the Community Champions are varied in the work they do but all share the same core value of coming together to help others.  With this campaign, GIFF invites members of the community to #makeanimpact and support the Community Champions by learning more about these organizations, volunteer opportunities and links to donate at GIFF Community Impact Award

The GIFF audience can also #makeanimpact by voting for the Audience Choice Award, which will be announced at the Community Impact Award Ceremony.  The Audience Choice Award will honor one of the Community Champions with a $10,000 grant from the Stapleton Family Foundation.  

The Community Impact Award Ceremony will take place virtually at 5-6pm EST on Saturday, February 6, 2021.  Amy Freeze, Meteorologist for WABC-TV’s popular Eyewitness News, will Emcee the event.  The award ceremony is in partnership with Fairfield County Look and is a complimentary event for the GIFF community.  Details on how to RSVP can be found at

GIFF Community Impact Award Recipients:


Abilis is a leader serving the special needs community for 70 years with its mission to provide supports and advocacy for building able lives and strong communities. Abilis serves more than 800 individuals of all ages with special needs and their families in lower Fairfield County, CT.

●      GIFF funding will provide tablets and smart TVs so that Abilis community members can participate in health, education and social programs despite the restrictions placed on them because of the pandemic. 

Building One Community (B1C)

Building One Community’s mission is to advance the successful integration of immigrants and their families.

●       GIFF funding will aid B1C on their workforce development program. 

Family Centers, Inc.

Family Centers’ mission is empowering children, adults, families and communities to realize their potential.

●      GIFF funding will directly support Family Centers’ mental health program. 

Filling In The Blanks

The mission of Filling in the Blanks is to fight childhood hunger by providing children in need with meals on the weekend. 

●      GIFF funding will support Filling in the Blanks’ weekend meal program, as the organization partners with local schools to identify food insecure children and provide them with meals to tide them over for the weekends.

Food Rescue US

Food Rescue US is committed to reducing food waste and hunger in America. Using technology, we engage volunteers to transfer excess fresh food from sources that would have otherwise been discarded to social service agencies that feed individuals and families who are food insecure.

●       GIFF funding will support Food Rescue US’s Emergency Meal Program. The program purchases meals from local restaurants that are then delivered by Food Rescue US volunteers to local agencies supporting the food insecure. 

The Rowan Center

The mission of The Rowan Center is to provide counseling and support services to victims of sexual assault and to eliminate sexual violence through community-wide education programs.

●      GIFF is partnering with The Rowan Center on a panel to bring awarness to the critical work they do to help victims of sexual violence. Funding will also go directly to their peer education program.

This year, GIFF will be hosting a Social Impact Film Showcase February 18-21, 2021.  The fully virtual Showcase will feature a carefully curated selection of inspiring films, Q&As with cast and crew, and an award ceremony for the Best Social Impact Film, presented by the Bill & Ann Bresnan Foundation.  The full lineup of films and events will be announced in early February.  Passes to the virtual Festival are available for $75 at