09/11/2012 07:17 GMT

'Budrus' - Documentary Shortlisted For BRITDOC'S Puma Creative Impact Award

Want to make a film, be award-nominated and change the world just a little bit? These people have.

‘Budrus’ is one of the five films shortlisted for this year’s Puma Creative Impact Award, a prize of E50,000 to the film the BRITDOC organisation deem to have made the most significant impact over the past 12 months.

HuffPost UK is the editorial partner of the event, and has been featuring each of the five shortlisted films in turn. This week, finally… is ‘Budrus’.


Budrus - it takes a village...

Everyone knows a little bit about the wall the Israelis started building in 2002, separating themselves from the Palestinians, mostly in the West Bank and protecting themselves, they say, from suicide bombings.

But some Palestinians have been left stranded by the Wall’s looping geography, including the citizens of one village, Budrus, who mounted a non-violent struggle in protest.

The director of 'Budrus' is Julia Bacha, the creative director of Just Vision, an organisation devoted to helping both Palestinians and Israelis work together non-violently, and she remembers being asked by Israeli and American audiences, "Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?" She says: "Palestinian audiences, on the other hand, would tell us: 'We've tried nonviolence and it doesn't work.' By telling the story of the village of Budrus, we wanted to look closely at a model of a successful Palestinian-led nonviolent struggle and, through that story, to explore what lessons could be learned for the future.

With footage from activists who'd been present during the ten months of protest and risked arrest to film events, Bacha and her team took this very personal look at one of the most bitter and divisive issues of our time, and made a film they've shown to audiences from Capitol Hill in Washington to Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank.

They've been gratified by the response. Bacha reports, "Audiences across the board have been receptive and eager to hear more about nonviolent efforts of Palestinians and Israelis on the ground once they've seen it."

"One of the first places we showed the film was the village of Budrus itself, where we projected it outdoors on the wall of the village's girls' school. More than half of the village turned out to watch, and it was incredibly moving to see the residents reflecting back and celebrating the village's struggle and ultimate triumph."

The winner of BRITDOC's Puma Creative Impact Award will be announced next Tuesday in Berlin. Watch the trailer for 'Budrus' below, and read up on the other for shortlisted films here...


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