As the winners of the 2014 Impact Award are announced, it is a good day to honour the work of documentary filmmakers everywhere. In particular, their role in documenting, highlighting and explaining human rights abuses and human rights protests even in places that western journalists cannot reach.
Pamela Yates' film 'Granito' is one of the five winners of this year's BRITDOC Impact Award. This impressive body of work is matched by their intentional, trust-based relationships with key partners across these countries to ensure their films could contribute to the growth and success of the movements they were documenting.
There have been so many films that have touched and altered my perception over the years that I couldn't begin to single out the few that have been the most impactful, but if we only look at some of the films of the past year and the conversations, debate and change they are driving, we start to see how important and irreplaceable these films and filmmakers are.
Every year new documentary filmmakers step forward driven by the same mix of optimism and pessimism. They hope that their story can cut through the noise and communicate with enough people, or maybe just the right people, to make a difference.
I remember my first time like it was yesterday. I was 21 years old, and it was an incredibly emotional experience. Over the course of an hour, I had laughed, cried, and, believe it or not, my life flashed before my eyes. It was my first time watching a documentary that jumped out and moved me to the core - and compelled me to want to do something.
Documentary film is a vital component in holding both governments and corporations to account. In celebrating the documentaries that impact our society we help to keep the legacy of these films and their campaigns alive.
The film I plan to create differs from perhaps any undertaken to date. In recent years there has been a formulaic attitude to films about North Korea in which they revolve around highlighting the regime as a 'tyrannical pariah state'. What I am seeking to create is the first attempted apolitical film in perhaps the most politicized country in the world.
I was fresh-faced, 16 and in the closet when I logged onto Grindr for the first time. If my girlfriends were to be believed, all the best-looking men are gay - so surely a world of gorgeous, tanned hunks with god-like torsos were only a click away? But what did I find?
Supermarket chicken is making us sick, as the recent scandal over the spread of the potentially-deadly campylobacter bug revealed. But cheap poultry is also linked to poor conditions for some (mainly migrant) workers toiling in Britain's vast slaughterhouses and processing factories.
I've made a film called Leave to Remain - an odd title that displays the absurdly English wordplay that describes the 'permission' that the home office grants asylum seekers to give them 'leave' to 'remain' in this country either definitely or indefinitely. It's a fitting title for the wilfully confusing system that determines worthiness for refugee status.
The following morning, the day of Catalina's funeral, it was the turn of Bruce Lee - the self-styled "King of the Sewers". Never shy of a spectacle, he arrived barefoot with his head painted in Aurolac, a luminous helmet of bright silver paint that the addicts sniff. A stark reminder of the crazed drug-infested atmosphere where Catalina had died.
By effectively reconceptualising German suffering during the war at the expense of that of other nations, the series seems to be creating a somehow distorted reality of World War II, which many people regard as offensive to the memory of the millions of victims of the Nazi German regime in an occupied Poland and elsewhere.
It seems like yesterday that the world woke to the shocking scenes of neglect and cruelty inside Romania's orphanages and care homes. Grainy Images of feces-stained wards, and babies chained to rusty cast-iron beds that seared in our minds. But 25 years on what has happened to Romania's abandoned children, and what fate awaits children from Romania's underfunded care system today?
Meeting the unluckiest woman in Madagascar changed my views on motherhood forever. Despite standing almost 6ft tall, Carolin ducks her eyes when she smiles, shyness getting the better of her. She hides her inner steel. She lost everything because she refused to abandon her children. She is the mother of twins: three sets of twins.
At 38, I was a freelance film director. After a short relationship ended, I found myself single, pregnant and broke. I decided to have the baby and raise him alone. Years after my son was born, scrolling though an old Nokia, I found that I had unwittingly archived a three-year dialogue of text messages between my son's father and I.
As a feminist, I do feel frustrated by the lack of women in broadcasting but also think exploration of masculinity is just as valid as that of femininity. One is as important, complex and relevant as the other.