The Giffoni Film Fest isn’t just any film festival. It’s Italy’s biggest film festival for children, and this year’s event was particularly special because it was responsible for presenting actress Jennifer Aniston with a lifetime achievement award. Aniston was present at the festival to accept her award and, in so doing, the Friends actress turned film star offered some emotional words on the state of our society and her views on the ills promoted by social media. In speaking at the Giffoni Film Fest, Aniston may have been targeting younger audiences, hoping that change will begin with early ages, but Jennifer’s words have touched people of every age group.
Jennifer Aniston Believes Hollywood Has The Power To Change The World
In their coverage of the Giffoni Film Fest, The Hollywood Reporter reveals that one of the first topics to be covered in a Q&A between Aniston and her fans, following the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Jennifer, was the topic of the roles for women in film and the ways in which women are portrayed in the entertainment business. In discussing the issue, Ms. Aniston says the solution to the problem is literally in the hands of those posing the questions. Jennifer told the audience it was up to them to begin writing those stories, whether fictional or true life experiences.
“I think we need to empower women to not just be about dresses and beauty and selfies. We need to start having conversations and put our phones down and get out of social media, take social media breaks,” Ms. Aniston added. “That’s why we’re not seeing the right stories being told, because everyone is stuck in their phones.”
The discussion renewed feminism movement and Jennifer’s opinion that the solution lies in everyone taking a stand led to the subject of bullies, whether they be physical threats or cases of online bullying. Aniston says, no matter the circumstances, standing up and presenting a united front is the key to taking away any bully’s power.
“When you see a bully, you have to, in a group of you, take the bully down and not allow it,” Ms. Aniston told the teen audience. “You have to support each other in just eliminating that. People didn’t stick up to bullies enough.”
Jennifer continued, amid applause, to discuss bullying, pointing out that it’s not just a problem that affects children and teenagers. Aniston says most adults were victims of bullies in childhood and that it was always assumed, once school years had been completed, that kind of intimidation would be a thing of the past. The advent of the internet changed that, points out Ms. Aniston.
“And now that we are grown up, the Internet is filled with them,” Jennifer says of bullies. “And they’re cowardly, and they’re anonymous and they hide behind their computers, so it’s about not allowing it to penetrate and have again, put your computers down and have conversations.”
Friends And Mother’s Day Star Jennifer Aniston On Becoming Herself
When asked by a rather shy girl if she ever woke up questioning herself or her path in life, Jennifer was brought to tears and humbly told the curious girl that, yes, she often questioned herself.
“We’re all human beings at the end of the day, whether we’re a waitress or a baker or a student or whatever we are, at the end of the day you kind of can hit walls and think I can’t go any farther,” Jennifer Aniston said, according to E! News. “Or this is too much. My heart can’t take it or the pain is too great, or am I good enough? Will I survive? And you just have to sort of somehow miraculously overcome. You just go, ‘I can’t, yes I can, yes you can.'”
Bringing it home, Jennifer revealed that the same was true of every celebrity and, whether they be actors, singers, or social media icons, everyone questions themselves at some point and, very often, they question themselves more than once.
“There’s nothing that separates us from you, because we all started at the same place,” said Aniston. “We all came out of nowhere. Don’t punish yourself if you feel that. Go talk to people and seek help and always find something to inspire you.”
Jennifer knows from where she speaks, having risen to fame through her role as Rachel Green on Friends and continued to develop her stardom by transitioning from television to film. Primarily a staple of romantic comedies, Aniston is now ranked fifth on Forbes‘ world’s highest-paid actresses in 2015. It is estimated that Jennifer Aniston has earned a total of $16.5 million.
[Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Giffoni Film Festival]