The Puma.Creative Impact Award, an initiative between Puma.Creative and The Britdoc Foundation, named five documentaries as finalists, including Budrus and Gasland (pictured).
Celebrating a documentary film that made significant positive impact on society or the environment, the winning film will be named at the Puma.Creative and Britdoc Gala in Berlin on November 13, and will receive a prize of €50,000 (USD $80,000).
The jury this year 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.
“These are outstanding works of independent filmmaking which have been leveraged to remarkable effect,” said Beadie Finzi, Britdoc founding director. “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.”
Last year’s winner was The End of the Line, a doc by Rupert Murray on the impact of overfishing.
The 2012 finalists are (with descriptions from Puma.Creative):
Armadillo (Denmark, 2010), directed by Janus Metz, produced by Ronnie Fridthjof and 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 (U.S., 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 behavior by reducing consumption of single use plastics and encouraging communities to adopt bag bans.
Budrus (U.S., 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 (U.S., 2010), directed by Josh Fox, produced by Trish Adlesic, Molly Gandour
Part vérité 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 and 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.