10 MAY 2007

While the gathering of the film community in Cannes later this month will produce its fair share of fabulous parties, one of the shindigs will have a serious purpose. Along with his Ocean's Thirteen co-stars, among them Brad Pitt, George Clooney plans to hold a gala evening to launch a charity aimed at helping refugees in the Sudan.

The founding of the organisation Not On Our Watch will be the latest development in a campaign by the heart-throb actor to raise awareness of the humanitarian drama unfolding in the country's Darfur region. Last year the Hollywood heavyweight travelled to the African nation with his journalist father Nick to highlight the crisis.

"Pop, why don't we go over there?" the 47-year-old star apparently asked his dad during a family discussion one morning over the newspapers. The result was the documentary A Journey To Darfur, and another film Sand And Sorrow, narrated and produced by the Good Night And Good Luck director, which will premiere on May 15.

But it was another journey, this time by Don Cheadle - who has appeared in all three of the Ocean's franchise - that served as the inspiration for the name of the NGO. After visiting a refugee camp in 2005 for people who had fled the violence in Darfur George's pal co-authored Not On Our Watch: The Mission To End Genocide In Darfur And Beyond, which urges ordinary citizens to speak out about the sitation in the troubled region.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Last spring George and his father Nick went on a mission to Sudan, hoping to raise awareness of the plight of refugees in the African country
Photo: © Alphapress.com
The Hollywood heavyweight and his Ocean's co-star Don Cheadle have also taken their campaign to the UN where they lobbied then Secretary General Kofi AnnanPhoto: © AFP

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