2014 BRITDOC Impact Award winners announced
by Gonzalo Suárez
- American Promise, Blackfish, Granito, The House I Live In and No Fire Zone have been rewarded for their commitment, passion and achievements in using storytelling to bring about change
Now in its fourth year, The BRITDOC Impact Award celebrates the documentary films that have made the greatest impact on society. Launched in 2011, the Awards have honoured 15 talented, tenacious and visionary filmmaking teams from across the world, including those behind Weapon of War (Netherlands), The End of the Line (UK), and Danish productions Burma VJ [+see also:
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Five more films have now joined the club: Edinburgh-born Callum Macrae’s No Fire Zone, which exposes the shocking secret war crimes committed during the final bloody months of the Sri Lankan Civil War; Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster’s American Promise, featuring the journey of two African American families pursuing the promise of opportunity through the education of their sons over a 13-year period; Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s Blackfish, an exposé of the controversial practice of holding orcas in captivity, and its dangers for both humans and whales, which provoked a huge backlash against SeaWorld, known as the "Blackfish Effect"; Pamela Yates’ Granito. How to Nail a Dictator, the extraordinary story of how a film came to the aid of a new generation of human rights activists, helping to tip the scales of justice in Guatemala; and Eugene Jarecki’s The House I Live in, exploring the human rights implications of the War on Drugs - the longest conflict in US history.
Each film receives $15,000 to reward its extraordinary commitment, passion and achievements in using storytelling to bring about change.
This year sees the introduction of the #NetflixHi5 Award, which recognises the winning film that receives the highest number of support tweets in the days following the announcement and will be announced on 24 November, and the Outstanding Partner Award, which goes to United Way, nominated by the team behind American Promise.