"There are so many films over the years that have had such a positive impact, and to recognize that movies can create change; that they can create awareness; that they can create a movement behind an idea, I think is important.”
Thus Morgan Spurlock explains the power of the documentary. Spurlock, himself the creator of enormous waves with his various films(Super Size Me, The Future of Food, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold) will be joining an international jury next week to decide who wins the prestigious PUMA Creative Impact Award, honouring a film which has made the most impact on society
“There’s real power in a documentary film, and there’s real power in movies to begin with," he explains. "Movies transcend culture; they transcend countries, and to be able to have something that can create global awareness is necessary today.”
Adding her star wattage to the ceremony, which takes place in London next week, will be fellow judge Queen Noor of Jordan, an equal believer in the power of film.
“I think that where the issues are concerned of critical importance to the welfare of individuals and communities and our larger world, there is probably no more under-utilised and more valuable tool than the documentary film," she attests. "People respond to images and to stories in ways that no amount of lectures and dry information can possibly equal in terms of the impact.”
The winner will be announced on 11 Otober 2011 at the PUMA Creative Impact Award Gala. 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 chance?
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 justice.
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.
Filling out the judging table will be Christian Aid director Loretta Minghella, recording artist Emanual Jal, and independent filmmaker Orlando Bagwell
Guests have been invited from all arms of the entertainment and film industry.
See the calibre of film up for the big prize in our trailer slideshow of the five finalists below: