Pete Postlethwaite may have left a huge gap in the British stage and screen canon, but his unique contribution continues, with news that one of his final films is in the running for a major international prize.
The Age of Stupid is one of five documentaries shortlisted for the PUMA Creative Impact Award, which aims to honour a film which has made the most impact on society.
Postlethwaite plays a man living in a devastated world of 2055, watching archive footage from the present day, and trying to work out why bystanders did little to prevent climate change.
An award of €50,000 will go to the prize winner, to help extend the impact of their film and help spread the message even further.
The five finalists were announced last night at an exclusive dinner hosted
Judges are from an international field, including dedicated documentary-maker Morgan Spurlock (of Super-Size Me fame), who says of the prize: "Finally an award that acknowledges the unique role that documentary plays in society."
Spurlock's fellow judge, BAFTA award-winning actress Thandie Newton, says, "Give me a documentary over a feature film any day of the week."
Other judges include Queen Noor of Jordan and musician and activist Emmanuel Jal. The committee will have to choose one from the final crop, but the Award creators have emphasised that all five have already enlightened and inspired individuals about global concerns.
The winner will be announced on 11 Otober 2011 at the PUMA Creative Impact
Award Gala, to be held in London. The finalists are:
The Age of Stupid (2009)
Directed by Franny Armstrong and produced by Lizzie Gillett
The Age of Stupid stars Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite as a man living
alone in the devastated world of 2055, watching “archive” footage of our time
now and asking: why didnʼt we stop climate change when we had the
Burma VJ (2008)
Directed by Anders Østergaard and produced by Lise Lense-Møller
Armed with small handy-cams, undercover Video Journalists in Burma keep up
the flow of news from their closed country despite risking torture and life in jail.
Their material is smuggled out of Burma and broadcast back via satellite.
The End of The Line (2009)
Directed by Rupert Murray and produced by Claire Lewis and George Duffield
The End of the Line is the world’s first major feature documentary about the
devastating impact overfishing has had and is having on our oceans. The film
provides a dramatic expose of those in power who are taking advantage of
the seas with catastrophic consequences on the world’s fish supplies.
The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court (2009)
Directed by Pamela Yates and produced by Paco de Onís
A David & Goliath battle of titanic proportions unfolds as International Criminal
Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo faces down warlords, genocidal
dictators and world superpowers in his struggle to tame the Wild West of
global conflict zones and bring perpetrators of crimes against humanity to
Trouble The Water (2008)
Directed and produced by Tia Lessin & Carl Deal
An aspiring rap artist, trapped in New Orleans by deadly floodwaters, survives
the disaster and seizes a chance for a new beginning. Celebrating community
resilience in the face of massive government failures, Trouble the Water
raises searing questions about race and class in America.
The Huffington Post UK will be presenting a weekly feature on each of the finalists' work. We will be looking at The Age of Stupid this Friday 29th July.