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Budrus wins PUMA.Creative Impact Award 2012

Last night at an award ceremony held in Berlin, the documentary Budrus was announced as the winner of the 2012 PUMA.Creative Impact Award.

Budrus tells the story of a successful non-violent protest in the West Bank. It follows a Palestinian community organizer and his 15-year old daughter as he unites Palestinians from all factions and Israeli activists in an unarmed struggle to save their village from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier.

The Jury awarded the documentary with the annual €50,000 award to honour it as “the documentary film which has had the most significant positive social or environmental impact”.

Budrus is directed by award-winning filmmaker Julia Bacha (Control Room, Encounter Point, My Neighbourhood), and produced by Bacha, Palestinian journalist Rula Salameh, and filmmaker and human rights advocate Ronit Avni.

“For the last few years, our team has been conducting targeted, sustained public education campaigns using Budrus in Palestinian, Israeli and international settings in order to amplify the courageous efforts of ordinary people who act when government officials fail to do so,” said Bacha. “Our goal is to contribute to fostering peace and an end to the occupation by rendering Palestinian nonviolence leaders and their Israeli allies more visible, valued and effective in their efforts.”

The jury included Hollywood actors and activists, Danny Glover and Djimon Hounsou; director, Mira Nair; writer and campaigner, Jemima Khan; and the executive director of Greenpeace International, Kumi Naidoo.

Gasland by director Josh Fox got a special jury commendation. The other shortlisted documentaries were Armadillo, Bag It, and Weapon of War.

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.

Just Vision, the organization behind Budrus and its outreach campaign, is made up of a team of Palestinian, Israeli, North and South American human rights advocates, conflict resolution experts, filmmakers and journalists who have, since 2003, been working to reframe the conversation around Palestinian resistance in the context of an intractable political situation. In the two and a half years since Budrus was released, the film has reshaped the public debate on the role of nonviolence in securing a future of freedom, dignity, security and peace for Palestinians and Israelis.

Juror Jemima Khan said of the winning film: “Like the villagers it follows, this brave film shows how non-violence in the face of a seemingly insurmountable opposition can succeed; a heart-warming David and Goliath tale. The film put Budrus on the map and in the mainstream media so that what happened there can never be forgotten and can continue to inspire peacemakers on all sides.”

Gasland

Jury Commendation Gasland follows director Josh Fox on a 24-state tour of communities in the United States impacted by natural gas drilling, and specifically the effects of the aggressive drilling process known as fracking.

Due to mass media coverage and the work of director Josh Fox personally, every community in the US affected by fracking now has the means to lobby for moratoriums, and a huge number have used the film as a tool to do so, creating a popular movement for change in concert with grassroots organisations.

The jury felt that its high-impact results will inspire a generation of filmmakers to talk truth to power.

“Gasland is to be commended for making the previously little-known practice of fracking a matter of mainstream public debate,” said juror Kumi Naidoo. “Josh Fox’s highly-entertaining approach also tells a bigger story about the role of power and the flawed state of democracy in America.”

The PUMA.Creative Impact Award is one of several awards and programmes made possible through a partnership between PUMA.Creative and The BRITDOC Foundation.

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