Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet had a simple request for the 100 A-list celebrities and cultural luminaries who received her well-worn trilby and were asked to contribute to her coffee table book project promoting autism awareness: "Take a picture with the hat and imagine a wall between you and those you love, imagine being trapped inside yourself, never being able to express your desires, needs and feelings. How would you communicate to the world who you are in a single sentence? What words would you choose? Share something that is important to you."
The resulting collection of intimate self-portraits and unique quotes gives a glimpse into their private thoughts and represents who they are at that moment. Also included in the book are stories, personal email correspondence and poetry by Winslet herself, Icelandic filmmaker Margrét Dagmar Ericsdóttir and her non-verbal autistic son Keli. It is titled »The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism«
and is now available in bookstores and online stores everywhere.
Among the people supporting Winslet's cause are: Christina Aguilera, Zac Efron, Julianne Moore, Maria Sharapova, Kobe Bryant, James Franco, Rosie O’Donnell, Ben Stiller, Michael Caine, Ricky Gervais, Michael Phelps, Meryl Streep, Kim Cattrall, Tom Hanks, John C. Reilly, Justin Timberlake, George Clooney, Elton John, Tim Robbins, Naomi Watts, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jude Law, Kristin Scott Thomas, Oprah Winfrey and Ellen Page. All the proceeds from the sale will benefit the non-profit Golden Hat Foundation
dedicated to eliminating communication barriers for people with autism and creating an environment that holds these individuals as intellectually capable. Be sure to visit goldenhatfoundation.org
to find out how to get your copy today!
Official press release
KATE WINSLET'S BOOK, THE GOLDEN HAT, TO BE PUBLISHED BY SIMON & SCHUSTER
NEW YORK, NY, March 24, 2011 – It was announced today that Simon & Schuster will publish THE GOLDEN HAT, a book by Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet that will feature a collection of stunning self-portraits from celebrities and cultural luminaries, all wearing a "magical" hat to support autism awareness and outreach. Jonathan Karp, Executive Vice President and Publisher and Kerri Kolen, Senior Editor of S&S, negotiated the deal for World rights with Creative Artists Agency. Publication is planned for November 2011.
Winslet has amassed a collection of photos from an amazing array of her friends and renowned personalities who have donned this special hat, taken a self portrait, and passed the hat along from one person to another. Among the participants whose photos are featured in the book are Anna Wintour; Ben Stiller; Brigitte Lacombe; Christina Aguilera; David Souffan; Demi Moore; Don Cheadle; Elijah Wood; Ellen Page; Javier Bardem; Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Jude Law; Julianne Moore; Kevin Bacon; Kyra Sedgwick; Laura Dern; Live Schreiber; Maggie Gyllenhaal; Maria Sharapova; Marion Cottillard; Meryl Streep; Michael Kors; Naomi Watts; Pedro Almodovar; Peter Sarsgaard; Ricky Gervais and many, many more.
Winslet found inspiration for this project in her friends Margret Dagmar Ericsdottir and Ericsdottir"s son Keli, who lives with a severe form of non-verbal autism. Winslet met Ericsdottir when she narrated a documentary film, A Mother's Courage: Talking Back To Autism, about the family"s mission to find a way to connect with Keli. Eventually specialists "unlocked" Keli by teaching him ways to communicate. Despite hardship, Keli now composes beautiful and deeply moving poetry. One of the poems, among the many included in the book, is called "The Golden Hat," which describes a magical hat that enables an autistic boy to communicate. After completing the narration for the film, Kate asked Margret: "Would it help if I started a foundation to raise awareness of the plight of people with autism who are unable to communicate?" With that idea, and with inspiration from Keli's poem, The Golden Hat, the Golden Hat Foundation was born. In addition to raising awareness, the Foundation will raise money to build innovative and specialized campuses which will offer opportunities for education, job training, social supports, recreation, and assisted living. The Foundation's website is www.goldenhatfoundation.org
THE GOLDEN HAT brings together the story of Winslet's friendship with Ericsdottir and family as well as Keli"s original poetry and writings with photographs of these celebrities and cultural icons who each share a personal statement about what their first words would be if they too were unable to communicate but suddenly “unlocked” after years of silence.
Karp said, "When we met with Kate Winslet, she told us how she became so impassioned about this issue, and we were quickly convinced that this book will both raise awareness and tell a remarkable story.”
Kolen, who will edit the book, said, “The most moving aspects of this book are Keli"s extraordinary poetry and Kate and Margret"s personal journey. It is a privilege to work with all
three of these exceptional talents. THE GOLDEN HAT will be a beautiful book with a vital message, to benefit a most worthy cause.”
Kate Winslet is one of the world"s best-known and best-loved actresses who has built a career on a series of film performances which defy type-casting – each one a new and different character, from high drama to comedy to passionate romance to quirky individualism. She made her film debut at the age of 17 in Peter Jackson"s "Heavenly Creatures" and immediately made her mark. She won her first Oscar nomination in Ang Lee"s „Sense and Sensibility" but it was her performance as Rose in "Titanic" that first brought her to the attention of millions worldwide and delivered her second Oscar nomination. She won further nominations for her roles in "Iris", "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and „Little Children" and won Best Actress for her performance as a former Nazi in „The Reader" in 2009. She is the youngest actress ever to have received 6 Oscar nominations. Other memorable and award-winning performances include "Revolutionary Road" in which she was re-teamed with Leonardo DiCaprio, directed by Sam Mendes, "Finding Neverland" and "Romance and Cigarettes". In 2010, Kate filmed the lead role in a five hour HBO television drama, "Mildred Pierce". The series will be seen in 2011. She joins the ensemble cast of Steven Soderbergh"s action thriller "Contagion" which will open in 2011 and stars in Roman Polanski"s forthcoming comedy "God of Carnage". Kate has two children, Mia and Joe, and divides her time between New York and the UK.
Simon & Schuster, a part of the CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children"s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website at www.simonandschuster.com