Could you change the world with a film? That's what these five filmmakers have in common, and their work has been rewarded by inclusion on the shortlist of PUMA's Impact Award 2013, in association with BRITDOC Foundation.
Susan Sarandon, Gael Garcia Bernal and Ricken Patel, founder of online activist community Avaaz are all on the jury deciding which of these five films has made the most significant positive impact on society or the environment.
The five impressive 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 have prompted remarkable and measurable change.
The PUMA Impact Award finalists for 2013 are:
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.
The winning film will be announced at the PUMA Impact Award Celebration in New York on 13 November 2013. 50,000 Euros will be awarded to the creative and campaigning minds behind the winning entry to acknowledge the filmmakers, and to help support the continued efforts of the film’s campaign for change.
HuffPostUK are delighted to be PUMA/BritDoc's editorial partner for the third year for this important documentary event. For more information about the PUMA Impact Award, click here.