Page last updated at 09:37 GMT, Monday, 1 September 2008 10:37 UK

Portman handed humanitarian award

Natalie Portman
Portman is making her directorial debut at the Venice Film Festival

Actress Natalie Portman has been awarded a "humanity award" for social commitment at the Venice Film Festival.

The 27-year-old is the first recipient of the Movie for Humanity Award, given to film artists who devote themselves to humanitarian causes.

As part of the prize, Portman also received $50,000 (28,000), which she has donated to a charity in Tanzania.

The actress has made her directorial debut with a short film called Eve, being screened at the festival.

Among the charities which Portman supports is the Tacare Girl's Scholarship Programme of the Jane Goodall Institute in Tanzania, which is involved in wildlife research and education.

The scholarship programme was established to address limited opportunities for women's education and provides access to secondary and higher education, leading to job opportunities.

"The Jane Goodall foundation does incredible work in Tanzania, an area which is very environmentally affected. I really appreciate this award," Portman said.

Academy Award-winning Italian set designer Dante Ferretti, who worked on The Aviator and Sweeney Todd, was named as the recipient of the "star of the year" award.

The prizes were awarded at the Kineo Italian Movie Awards, which gives trophies to Italian film stars and directors based on audience votes.




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