ND/NF’s ‘The Act Of Killing’ Among Nominees for Doc Prize


Joshua Oppenheimer's 2013 New Directors/New Films doc The Act Of Killing.

Five finalists are in the running for the Puma Impact Award. The prize, given in partnership with BRITDOC, honors the documentary film that "has made the most significant positive impact on society or the environment and carries with it a €50,000 prize.

This year's five films cover topics ranging from a miscarriage of justice in the Philippines, to violence intervention and prevention on the streets of Chicago, through to bullying in US schools, an exploration of Indonesia's death squads and sexual assault in the US military. All of the projects, according to organizers,  have prompted remarkable and measurable change. Activist and actress Susan Sarandon, actor and director Gael García Bernal and Ricken Patel, founding president and executive director of the world’s largest online activist community, Avaaz will serve as jurors deciding this year's winner.

Joshua Oppenheimer's 2013 New Directors/New Films doc The Act Of Killing is among the final five up for the award.

"Be under no illusion: the tenacity, commitment and perseverance of the compassionate few can change the world," said Sarandon. “The work of these five filmmakers is testament to that."

"We are very grateful to PUMA for enabling this important initiative highlighting the outstanding work of this group of filmmakers," said Jess Search, Chief Executive,  BRITDOC Foundation. "It's an incredibly competitive set of finalists in 2013. Each and  every project has the highest quality filmmaking at its heart, around which are built campaigns for social justice with huge ambitions."

The prize will be awarded November 13 in New York.

The Puma Impact Award Finalists follow with information provided by organizers:

The Act of Killing (Denmark, 2012), Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, co-directed by Anonymous and Christine Cynn, produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen challenges unrepentant death squad leader Anwar Congo and his friends to dramatise their role in the Indonesian genocide. The result is an exposé of a regime of corruption, impunity, and fear built by the perpetrators, and which largely remains in place to this day. The film has begun a shift in discourse in Indonesia and its understanding of its own difficult past.

Bully (USA, 2011), Directed by Lee Hirsch, produced by Cynthia Lowen, investigates the most common form of violence young people in the US experience: this year, over 13 million American kids will be bullied. The wide reach of the film put bullying firmly on the map in the US, and makes it acceptable to talk about the issue.

Give Up Tomorrow (USA, 2011), Directed by Michael Collins, produced by Marty Syjuco exposes shocking corruption within the judicial system of the Philippines in one of the most sensational trials in the country’s history – that of Paco Larrañaga, a 19-year-old student who was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of two sisters, despite overwhelming evidence of his innocence. The film has led a remarkable ongoing campaign to overturn the ruling, enabling Paco to be re-housed in San Sebastian and to the launch of the Innocence Project in the Philippines.

The Interrupters (USA, 2011), Directed by Steve James, produced by bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz, co-produced by Zak Piper, tells the moving and surprising stories of three ‘violence interrupters’ who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed. The film has reframed urban violence and built capacity for the field, ensuring that "violence interrupting" is an accepted strategy for tackling endemic problems.

The Invisible War (USA, 2012), Directed by Kirby Dick, produced by Amy Ziering, is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about the epidemic of rape within the US military which has now been taken on by the military as a training tool, has exerted pressure on top level decision makers and introduced new codes of conduct for investigating Military Sexual Assault into legislation.

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