PUMA.Creative and the BRITDOC Foundation have announced their five finalists for the 2012 Creative Impact award which will honour the most significant positive impact on society or the environment with a €50,000 prize .
The top documentaries in the selection cover topics ranging from global conflict and non-violent resistance to environmental degradation and protection. And, according to the organisation, all of the projects have prompted impressive and measurable change in their wake – from changing consumer behaviour to affecting political debate and creating legislative change.
The five final films are being judged by a jury that includes Hollywood actors and activists, Danny Glover and Djimon Hounsou, director Mira Nair, writer and campaigner Jemima Khan and executive director of Greenpeace International, Kumi Naidoo.
In a statement Danny Glover said: “As an artist who has been involved in storytelling my entire adult life, I can think of few things more important than the journey from apathy to empathy. Culture is a profound value to champion, and nonfiction storytelling is a path to reinforcing freedom of expression and a more informed, aware and vigorous citizenship.”
The five finalists for 2012 are:
Armadillo (Denmark, 2010), Directed by Janus Metz, Produced by Ronnie Fridthjof & Sara Stockmann
Armadillo is a gut-punching account of the growing cynicism and adrenaline addiction of a band of brothers, a group of young Danish soldiers at war in Afghanistan. It has raised public awareness about the war in Afghanistan as well as deep political debate about the consequences for both soldiers and civilians.
Bag It (US, 2010), Directed by Suzan Beraza, Produced by Judy Kohin
An average American man pledges to stop using plastic bags, and before long he has embarked on a wholesale investigation into plastic and its effect on our waterways, oceans, and even our own bodies. A film that has effected change in consumer behaviour by reducing consumption of single use plastics and encouraging communities to adopt bag bans.
Budrus (US, 2009) Directed by Julia Bacha, Produced by Ronit Avni, Rula Salameh and Julia Bacha
Palestinian political factions and Israelis unite in a Gandhian struggle to save a village from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier. Together, they unleash a successful nonviolent movement that is still gaining ground today in both Palestinian and Israeli civic society enabled by a unique platform provided by the film.
Gasland (US, 2010), Directed by Josh Fox, Produced by Trish Adlesic, Molly Gandour
Part verité road trip, part exposé, mystery and showdown, Gasland follows director Josh Fox on a 24-state investigation into the devastating, toxic effects of the aggressive drilling process known as fracking. In the two years since release, Gasland put fracking firmly on the public agenda and has helped pressure elected officials to curtail the practice.
Weapon of War (Netherlands, 2009), Directed and Produced by Ilse & Femke van Velzen
Giving voice to soldiers who used rape as a weapon during decades of conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, this film follows them as they try to reconcile with their past and break the vicious circle of sexual violence. Weapon of War is an example of film being used as a highly strategic educational tool and engaging debate on the taboo issue of rape within the military.
The winning documentary film will be announced at the PUMA.Creative and BRITDOC gala in Berlin on 13 November.
Beadie Finzi, BRITDOC’s founding director said: “These are outstanding works of independent filmmaking which have been leveraged to remarkable effect. We are all intrigued to know who will be selected as the winner, given the breadth and depth of each film’s achievements. The jury has a very difficult task on their hands!”