LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court threw his weight behind Invisible Children, the group behind the viral hit “Kony 2012” video, in Los Angeles this weekend, promoting the group’s initiative to Hollywood insiders.
An intimate group of film directors, producers and actors gathered in the home of “Independence Day” director Roland Emmerich on Saturday evening for a dinner party dedicated to Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor for the world’s first permanent war crimes court.
The prosecutor used the opportunity to introduce attendees to Jedidiah Jenkins, Invisible Children’s Director of Ideology, and encourage them to support online video activism.
“I love Invisible Children. I love them,” Moreno-Ocampo told Reuters after hugging Jenkins at the dinner. “Their video is making a huge change in stopping Joseph Kony, I believe.”
Kony, accused of terrorizing northern Uganda for two decades, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. He is accused of abducting children to use as fighters and sex slaves and is said to like hacking off limbs.
Moreno-Ocampo and Jenkins met after the court indicted Joseph Kony in 2005, and Moreno-Ocampo has mentored Jenkins and other members of Invisible Children informally over the years.
The “Kony 2012” video sparked criticism over what some called its misleading and oversimplified portrayal of current events in Uganda.
The organization took another hit when its founder, Jason Russell, suffered a public meltdown in March that doctors described as a brief psychotic breakdown.
“He is on the road to recovery. It’s going to be months, the doctors say, but he is recovering,” Jenkins said, adding that the care facility Russell is in won’t let him be very involved with the organization in the near future.
On Saturday night, Moreno-Ocampo introduced Jenkins to Hollywood activists and praised the “Kony 2012” video, which was viewed by 100 million people in just six days after its release in early March.
“The Invisible Children movie is adding social interest that institutions need to achieve results,” Moreno-Ocampo told Reuters and AFP in an exclusive interview earlier in the day.
“Invisible Children will, I think, produce the arrest of Joseph Kony this year,” he said.
The dinner had 40-some attendees including “Law and Order” actor Sam Waterston, “Star Trek” actor Zachary Quinto and “Battlestar Galactica” director Bryan Singer.
“I’m excited to work with the prosecutor in a more open way,” Jenkins said.
Invisible Children is forging ahead while Russell continues his recovery, Jenkins said.
Jenkins said a “Kony 2012, Part II” video is expected to be released on Tuesday. It was designed for an international audience with more details on Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army and more voices from the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the LRA is currently based, he said.
On April 20, the group will sponsor a “Cover the Night” day of activism, in which supporters are expected to volunteer for five hours in their communities to push back against criticism the group has received over what Jenkins dubbed “slacktivism” or “clicktivism.”
Moreno-Ocampo, who is about to retire from the court, hailed the commitment of a new generation to international justice.
“It’s a new world. All over the world, the new generation says, ‘Stop ignoring crimes by our leaders.’ We cannot live in such a world. And that is my mission, too,” Moreno-Ocampo said.
Reporting By Mary Slosson; Editing by David Bailey