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Australia’s Carbon – The Unauthorised Biography comes out on top at the 2022 Deauville Green Awards


- French and German films also saw success at the 11th edition of the French event, which took place from 15-16 June

Australia’s Carbon – The Unauthorised Biography comes out on top at the 2022 Deauville Green Awards
The winners of the 2022 Deauville Green Awards

The increasing general awareness of topics such as ecology, climate change, the energy transition and the food revolution gave a big boost to the 11th edition of the Deauville Green Awards (15-16 June). “We are very happy that so many people came to Deauville to see films about sustainability,” says Francois Morgant, president of the Deauville Green Awards.

“When we founded this festival 11 years ago, ecology was not such a popular theme as it is today,” underlines Georges Pessis, vice-president of the event. In total, 530 films from all over the world were submitted for the Documentary, Spot and Info Competitions. “We have a jury of 50 people who are split across the three competitions.”

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The Grand Prize for Best Documentary was awarded to the Australian film Carbon – The Unauthorised Biography, directed by Daniella Ortega and Niobe Thompson. Produced by Lucy Maclaren, Niobe Thompson and Sonya Pemberton, the two-hour doc gives an insight into the complex links between carbon and climate change. “People think we have a carbon problem,” astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson points out. “Don’t blame carbon; it’s not carbon’s fault.” Indeed, all of the food that we eat, the clothes that we wear and more than 90% of the things that we see are carbon. It is in fabrics, wood, in all plastics and in our bodies. “Every cell in our body is loaded with carbon. It is part of our lives,” emphasises the astrophysicist. In Carbon – The Unauthorised Biography, an outstanding documentary in terms of its story and visual style, scientists explain why fossil fuels need to stay in the ground.

In the Info Competition, which presents films by NGOs and institutions with a length of up to 26 minutes, the Grand Prize went to the WWF Deutschland production Love by Anne Thomas. “Love is a parable about the relationships that humans have with the forest,” says Susanne Winter, from WWF Deutschland. “It is a story about a tree that develops a deep relationship with a boy.”

The goal of French impact producer Magali Payen is to “change the world through imaginings, through stories. […] I want to show how the world could be at its best and, at the same time, respect planetary boundaries and social justice,” says Payen, founder of the “On est prêt” movement, which aims to mobilise citizens. Another citizens' movement is the UNESCO Green Citizens project, and the info film of the same name won the Trophée Or in the humanitarian action and solidarity category.

Meanwhile, The Unknown Heroes by Stéphane Barbato won the Grand Prize in the Spot Competition. This wake-up call for social justice was made for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). “In a perfect world, war surgeons risking their lives to help victims would be as famous as footballers,” underlines Barbato.

Further key topics discussed in various films and workshops at the Deauville Green Awards included agriculture, food and responsible consumption. Vincent Doumeizel, senior advisor on oceans to the UN Global Compact, suggests the consumption of seaweed. “Seaweed can be used for the emerging population and is helpful for our climate,” says the specialist. “The new food that we are going to have around us affects everybody,” concludes Georges Pessis, “because we all have to eat.”

Here is the full list of winners at the 2022 Deauville Green Awards:

Documentary Competition

Grand Prize
Carbon - The Unauthorised Biography - Daniella Ortega and Niobe Thompson (Australia)

TV5 Monde Special Prize for Best French-language Documentary
Dégel du Pergélisol Une bombe à retardement - Forte Remi (France)

Région Normandie Special Prize
Lost - Birds of the Countryside - Heiko De Groot (Germany)

Société Forestière Groupama Special Prize
Le Goût de la Terre - Jean-Etienne Frère and Fabrice Caër (France)

TF1 Group Special Prize
Rupture(s) - Arthur Gosset (France)

Info Competition

Grand Prize
Love - Anne Thomas (Germany)

Trophée Or
UNESCO Green Citizens – UNESCO (France)

Bpifrance Special Award for Best Audiovisual Communication for a Startup
Wisamo - Alan Cloniet (France)

Spot Competition

Grand Prize
The Unknown Heroes - Stéphane Barbato

Un Écran pour la Planète Special Award
Grands projets au féminin - Lutte contre les stéréotypes
Discrimination – diversité/VINCI Construction Grands Projets
- Laura Ghazal (France)

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