Cannes Film Festival


Horyou had the opportunity of sitting down with Nilou Safinya, VP of Customer Service at Xurus, a small family-run luxury wine business with a vineyard located in Lake County, CA. “My father [Kambiz Safinya] and uncle [Ali Namdar] started the company back in 1999 when they planted the first grape,” Safinya said. “Initially they sold grapes to other winemakers, then in 2007 they began to make their own wine.” According to Safinya, her father and her uncle had always wanted to work together, and wine is something they are both passionate about. So together, they decided to create Xurus.


In Zoroastrian philosophy, the creator’s energy is represented by fire and the sun, both enduring, radiant and life-sustaining. The rooster, or xurus (pronounced ‘khoo-roos’), was the companion of the angel that guarded humankind at night. The xurus’ crowing signaled the transition from the evil of darkness to the goodness of daylight. As early as 3000 BCE, this time of day was celebrated with a morning cup of wine poured from a rooster-shaped pitcher.

The name and label of Xurus Wine celebrate centuries of elegance, art, culture and joie de vivre. The dual roosters in its logo signify the close relationship and collaboration of the two founders.

The vineyard is managed using sustainable practices to preserve the environment in which it is located. Native plant growth is controlled between the rows of grapes with a no-till practice and scheduled mowing. Fruit thinning occurs early in the growing season, leaving only the finest clusters to ripen through the summer. “The fermentation is based on the Bordeaux style of winemaking, which means the sulfites used are natural and not made in chemical factories,” Safinya said. “There is much attention to detail and quality, to the extent that each grape is hand selected.”


The family has always endorsed social-good and displays a commitment to charity work. “My father is a businessman and a physicist. He is quite a unique person in that he also has artistic inclinations,” she said. “My uncle shares the same dual passion as a writer and a businessman. They are both appreciators of all arts and culture. As a family we are very socially conscious, always aware of social challenges and try do our part in supporting charities.” This past May, Xurus was a partner at the Horyou Foundation Gala during Horyou Village at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. “The idea of participating in a charity gala was something my father was very interested in,” Safinya stated. As Xurus grows, they hope to increase their ability to continue donating their products to charities and social-good causes, events and fundraisers.


Horyou asked Safinya for her opinion on the importance of company commitment to social good. She explained: “In an ideal world, most companies would have a social-good component in their structure. How people and companies give can be different based on the industry, the commodity and the capacity. Whether it’s through financial giving, in-kind donations, socially-conscience business and hiring practices or active engagement with the broader global environment – I do think we each should do our part in being socially responsible for the greater good.”

By ToniMarie Illuzzi

By Amma Aburam

Humanity is the basis of filmmaking. The craft tells the story of our passions, struggles and reactions to the world around us. The Cannes Film Festival is a glitzy and glamorous celebration, but at its core lies the art of capturing the human experience. Horyou Village sought to emphasize the positive aspects of humanity at the festival by presenting three guiding principles.


Social Good is a Universal Act

It is a simple truth that the majority of people worldwide should want to do good to better humanity. The Cannes Film Festival is a gathering of people endeavoring to make an impact through cinema, which plays a huge role in raising awareness and inspiring action. Horyou Village’s interview stage provided a global forum where promoters of positive change could deliver their messages about humanity’s struggles and their possible solutions. With screenings of films and documentaries from all over the world, the projection area at Horyou Village exemplified how cinema is a messenger for social good efforts and their impact around the world. During the Cannes Festival, some of the biggest charities gather to promote awareness and express their desire to change. Artists, personalities and influencers in all fields engage with charities and associations in support of bettering the human condition. In the midst of Cannes, the Horyou Foundation hosted its own successful gala event.

We Must Focus on the Positive

Media outlets have the tendency to present us with far more negative news than positive. It is important to create opportunities where positivity can be reported. Horyou’s message is that social good is transpiring all over the world. When people are aware of this, they can be inspired, connect with one another and hopefully work together. Horyou Village chose the Cannes Film Festival, cinema’s premiere event, to provide global visibility to the fact that there are tremendous efforts all over the world to achieve positive change.

Not only did Horyou invite non-profit organizations and personalities to promote their causes, it allowed promoters of social good all over Cannes to communicate how their work is represented in their fields.

Arts, Culture and Diversity are Essential to Our Progress

Horyou Village embraced all types of arts and cultures in a celebration of diversity. It was a fusion of people’s talents and dreams. Around 300,000 people visit the Cannes Film Festival every year from around the world, and Horyou Village was an retreat where they could share their experiences and create partnerships. It was a place to embrace our differences and build the future together to move humanity forward.

Horyou thanks all who attended, watched and supported Horyou Village at Cannes, and we can’t wait to see what amazing events transpire there in 2016.

Lors du Horyou Village organisé à Cannes, du 13 au 24 mai, de nombreuses organisations de notre plateforme étaient sur place pour présenter leurs activités au sein d’un espace dédié. Nous avons donc décidé d’aller à la rencontre de certaines de ces organisations afin d’en savoir un peu plus sur leur expérience au Horyou Village. Au-delà des interviews filmées que nous avons eues avec la plupart d’entre elles, nous en avons réalisé une série plus spécialement dédiée à ce blog. Pour commencer cette série, nous vous proposons de rencontrer la Fondation Moi pour toit et d’en savoir un peu plus sur cette ONG qui œuvre en faveur des enfants et adolescents défavorisés de la région de Pereira en Colombie.

Fondation Moi pour Toit

• Décrivez-nous en quelques lignes votre association/organisation et comment vous avez découvert Horyou.

La Fondation Moi pour Toit est une organisation non gouvernementale (ONG) suisse et privée, reconnue d’utilité publique, à but non lucratif, en faveur des enfants défavorisés de la région de Pereira en Colombie. Depuis 1987, elle gère – sans intermédiaire et sans subvention valaisanne ou suisse – son propre programme d’accueil, de protection, d’éducation et de formation pour des enfants et jeunes âgés de 4 à 18 ans ou plus, en cas d’études universitaires. Nous avons découvert Horyou en juillet 2014 après un téléphone d’un membre de l’organisation, puis en allant sur le site internet.

• Vous êtiez présents pendant 3-4 jours avec votre organisation au Horyou Village lors du festival de Cannes. Qu’est ce qui vous a donné l’envie de participer à cette premiere édition?

Comme fondateur et président de Moi pour Toit, je me suis dit qu’être présent à l’Horyou Village du Festival de Cannes était une incroyable et immense opportunité pour améliorer notre visibilité et faire découvrir notre travail auprès des enfants depuis 28 ans ! L’occasion aussi de faire des rencontres et de partager nos expériences humaines et solidaires.

Fondation Moi pour Toit

• Quel bilan tirez-vous de votre présence au Horyou Village? (Avez vous fait des rencontres intéressantes ? comment s’est passée votre interview?)

Même si les rencontres dans l’Horyou Village n’ont pas été très nombreuses, elles ont été enrichissantes et positives. [L’interview][1] avec Yonathan Parienti fut un grand moment d’émotions partagées en compagnie aussi de Laura Chaplin, marraine de Moi pour Toit.

Fondation Moi pour Toit

• Un moment phare pendant votre présence au Horyou Village ou plus généralement lors de ce Festival International du Film de Cannes?

La Fondation a eu son moment fort avec la soirée du lundi 18 mai, consacrée entièrement à notre travail avec présentation du livre INSPIRATIONS (50 stars du monde entier qui parrainent Moi pour Toit), dégustation de vins du Valais, diffusion du film « Después de la tempestad » consacré à la fondation et finalement interview à la nuit tombée. Un grand moment pour moi qui laissera de belles traces.

• Parlez-nous un peu de vos projets futurs pour votre organisation/association. Avez-vous un rêve, un souhait particulier pour les mois/années à venir?

“Il faut que les rêves soient immenses afin de ne pas les perdre de vue en les poursuivant.” Et ils sont nombreux. En 2017, Moi pour Toit célèbre ses 30 ans de lutte auprès des enfants défavorisés de Pereira en Colombie. Cela fait plus d’une génération ! Mon idée : la sortie d’un livre qui racontera l’histoire de douze petites filles, les premières reçues à la fondation, qui sont aujourd’hui des femmes, souvent mères de famille, âgées de 35 à 40 ans ! J’ai commencé à les rechercher et j’ai déjà eu contact avec six d’entre elles, qui m’appellent toujours « papa Christian ». Et puis, aussi, j’espère vraiment que l’Horyou Village de Cannes se reconstruise et que nous puissions y participer. Uniquement l’annonce de notre présence a eu un gros impact en Valais. Comme une sorte de reconnaissance internationale de notre lutte au quotidien. Merci Horyou !

Pour en savoir plus sur la Fondation Moi pour toit, vous pouvez consulter leur site web ici ou leur page sur Horyou. Pour consulter leur interview:


Horyou Village, an interactive exhibition highlighting the values of social good, was a central event at the Cannes Film Festival from May 13 to 24. And at the heart of Horyou Village was its live performance stage, where a host of diverse performers provided free nightly entertainment.

Starting off the musical celebration was French experimental musician Chapelier Fou, who provided an eclectic blend of traditional acoustic instruments mixed with electronic devices such as synthesizers and samplers.

The next evening, chanteuse Carmen Maria Vega, a Guatemalan who grew up in France, charmed the audience with her Gypsy jazz revival sound but also included some rocking out. Vega’s voice evokes an edgy Edith Piaf born 70 years later.

May 15 brought the animated Victorine to the Horyou Village stage – and its surroundings – as she engaged with the audience, including Horyou CEO Yonathan Parienti, before and during her set. The French singer illuminated her brand of quirky indie pop with numerous props and wardrobe changes, and led the crowd in a sing-along to conclude her performance.

Carmen Maria Vega
Carmen Maria Vega

The Amadeus electric string quartet wowed the crowd on the fourth night of performances. Hailing from Romania, the all-female group performed their take on a huge range of musical styles, from classical to the “James Bond Theme” to “I Love Rock ’N Roll.”

French singer/songwriter Aria Crescendo, a former member of The Paradiso Girls, took the stage on May 17. Wearing playful mouse ears, she fired up the youth in particular with her modern pop.

Gwen & Tiana, “two citizens of the world that music brought together,” in their words, brought the rhythms of afro-soul to Horyou Village. Gwen, from Gabon, and Tiana, a Cameroonian, both live in France, where they met and formed their duo and band.

Gwen & Tiana
Gwen & Tiana

The irrepressibly jubilant Licia Chery, a Swiss singer/songwriter of Haitian descent, brought smiles to all who came to see her the following night. Her set featured blues, soul, Caribbean music and rock, and Chery revealed herself as an impressive dancer as well.

Licia Chery
Licia Chery

Acclaimed Lebanese vocalist Mike Massy took the stage at Horyou Village on May 21. His lilting vocals were mesmerizing, and the music, with a heavy nod to the nostalgic melodies of the Middle East, had everyone dancing.

The next evening, French singer Haylen treated attendees to a solo performance on guitar featuring her funky renditions of American soul and rock songs, including her catchy version of “Tainted Love.” Following Haylen came Pendentif, a French new-pop group. Singer Julia Jean-Baptiste’s vocals reinforced the band’s dreamy vibe, which was also eminently danceable.

Haylen again was the opening act May 23 on Horyou Village’s final night of performances. Parienti took the stage to remark on Horyou’s mission of social good and introduced Quiet Please. The all-male synth-heavy indie pop band from France delivered mellow vocals and atmospheric grooves, closing the event on a decidedly cool note.

Written by Lief Nielsen

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