Danny Glover and Joslyn Barnes both grew up watching films from around the world. Eventually they crossed paths and began producing films of their own, many of them focused on issues in the global south.

Before a sold-out audience on Friday, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society screened the company’s latest movie, White Sun, and honored the two producers with its Global Citizen Award as part of the 12th annual Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival.

“It’s such a privilege to even be able to consider yourself a global citizen,” said Ms. Barnes, who accepted the award and talked about Louverture Films, which she founded with Mr. Glover in 2005. She noted the difficulty many people around the world face in trying to cross borders, even to become refugees.

Film society founder Richard Paradise talks with Joslyn Barnes, Mr. Glover's producing partner and co-recipient of the Global Citizen award, — Alex Elvin

Mr. Glover was in Vancouver shooting a movie but appeared on the film center movie screen Friday via Skype.

“How do we bring people together?” Mr. Glover asked the audience. “How do we bring communities together? And how do we re-imagine the world?”

The Emmy Award-winning actor recalled meeting Ms. Barnes in the 1990s and striking up a conversation about Toussaint Louverture, the leader of the Haitian Revolution. “We used that as a platform,” he said, alluding to the film company’s name. “Not knowing where we were going initially. Not knowing that we would have this remarkable journey.”

The company has explored issues around the world, including in Africa, Palestine and Nepal. Its 19 films so far include Trouble The Water, about a couple that weathered Hurricane Katrina; This Changes Everything, about climate change and society; and Bamako, starring Mr. Glover, which examines the African debt crisis and launched the company.

“Images are so important,” said Ms. Barnes. “They really are the gateway for how we come to a general understanding of communities that have been marginalized or instrumentalized or colonized or even enslaved – and how those people reclaim those images, reclaim their agency, create their own agency. And how we learn to see.”

White Sun is Louverture Film’s second project involving writer and director Deepak Rauniyar, whose film Highway caused a stir in Nepal by interrogating the traditional caste system. A similar theme runs through White Sun, which tells the story of an anti-regime partisan who returns to his mountain village after more than 10 years away, and must come to terms with his family and community, including a brother who was on the opposing side in the Nepali civil war.

Mr. Paradise acknowledged the film’s executive producer, Minah Worley, who serves on the festival advisory board and helped organize the event on Friday. The two awards ­— metal sculptures in the shape of angel wings — were created by Island artist Barney Zeitz, who also attended the event.

Louverture Films has focused largely on Africa, although Ms. Barnes said the difficulty of financing films there has led the company to try and set up a fund to support African documentaries. After a survey by filmmakers in all 55 countries in Africa, she said, the fund is expected to be launched this year.

Mr. Glover spoke about his life in activism, including as an ambassador to Unicef, a position he has held since 2004. He called his work with Unicef “an opportunity to reexamine the landscape we function in,” and credited his earlier work with the United Nations for connecting him with Ms. Barnes and her work during the World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995.

He called the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival another opportunity for people to embrace stories and films that can make a difference. “We bring not only our communities together with a purpose, but also we use film as a catalyst for the changes that are necessary,” he said.

The Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival continues through Sunday, Sept. 10. Visit mvfilmsociety.com for schedules and tickets.