Budrus (pictured), a documentary about non-violent demonstrations conducted by the residents of a Palestinian town, picked up the 2012 PUMA.Creative Impact Award during a ceremony in Berlin on Tuesday (November 13).
The award, an initiative between Puma.Creative and The Britdoc Foundation to honor a documentary that has made a significant positive impact on society or the environment, comes with a €50,000 (US$80,000) prize.
The doc was directed by Control Room co-writer and editor Julia Bacha and produced by Bacha, Palestinian journalist Rula Salameh, and filmmaker and human rights advocate Ronit Avni.
It follows the follows a group of human rights activists, filmmakers and journalists working for the organization Just Vision in the village of Budrus in a bid to reframe the Israeli-Palestinian peace process around the role of non-violence. In selecting the film for the award, the jury considered its impact on the wider public debate.
“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,” juror Jemima Khan said in a statement. “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.”
The jury also awarded a a special commendation to Gasland director Josh Fox who embarked on a 24-State tour to raise grassroots awareness around the environmental impacts of natural gas drilling and process known as fracking.
“Gasland is to be commended for making the previously little-known practice of fracking a matter of mainstream public debate,” said juror and Greenpeace International executive director 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.”
This year’s jury also included Hollywood actors and activists, Danny Glover and Djimon Hounsou, and director Mira Nair. The shortlist of five documentaries also included Armadillo, Bag It, and Weapon of War.