Berlin, Germany, November 13, 2012 – Today, PUMA.Creative, in partnership with the BRITDOC Foundation, announced Budrus, the story of a successful non-violent protest in the West Bank, as the winner of the 2012 PUMA.Creative Impact Award. This annual €50,000 award was created by PUMA to identify and honour the documentary film that has made the most significant positive social or environmental impact. Gasland was awarded a Special Jury Commendation.
Commenting on the PUMA.Creative Impact Award winner, Franz Koch, CEO of PUMA, said: “Congratulations to the team behind Budrus on winning the 2012 PUMA.Creative Impact Award. At PUMA, we believe that our position as the creative leader in Sportlifestyle gives us the opportunity and the responsibility to contribute to a better world for the generations to come. We are proud to continue to support great documentary filmmaking and help to inspire positive change through this award.”
The shortlist of five documentaries that also included Armadillo, Bag It, and Weapon of War were judged by an independent jury representing the worlds of film, the arts, and social change: 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.
The top films covered topics ranging from global conflict and non-violent resistance to environmental degradation and protection. 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 2012 PUMA.Creative Impact Award winner, Budrus 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.
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.
The winning documentary, Budrus, is directed by award-winning filmmaker Julia Bacha (co-writer and editor Control Room, co-director Encounter Point, co-director 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 director Julia 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.”
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.”
Special 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 film was honoured with a Commendation by the jury for its high-impact results which they felt 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 Jury convened in New York, on 23rd September to select the PUMA.Creative Impact Award winner from the five finalists. Looking beyond the production budget, artistic content and directorial talents, each film was uniquely assessed for its social impact, recognized through data and various markers, including how the film had:
- Increased public awareness of and engagement with an issue
- Produced political and corporate impact
- Built the capacity of partners
- Changed public behaviour
The PUMA.Creative Impact Award is one of several awards and programmes made possible through a partnership between PUMA.Creative and The BRITDOC Foundation.
For more information regarding the PUMA.Creative Impact Award, visit: www.britdoc.org/impactaward.