Three U.S. docs chase Puma-Britdoc prize

'Bag It,' 'Budrus,' 'Gasland' on shortlist

LONDON — Three documentaries from the U.S., one from Denmark and one from the Netherlands have been shortlisted for the second annual Puma.Creative Impact Award.

The prize, awarded by the Britdoc Foundation and the philanthropic arm of sportswear firm Puma, honors the doc that the judges believe has made the most impact on society or the environment. Any doc released since January 2009 is eligible.

This year’s jury comprises actors Danny Glover and Djimon Hounsou, director Mira Nair, Kumi Naidoo, the exec director of Greenpeace Intl. and campaigner Jemima Khan.

The shortlist includes:

Armadillo” (Denmark, 2010), directed by Janus Metz, about young Danish soldiers in Afghanistan, which raised awareness of the conflict in its home country.

“Bag It” (U.S., 2010), directed by Suzan Beraza, which follows an American man who pledges to stop using plastic bags, but ends up investigating plastic and its effect on the world and our bodies. The film has helped reduce use of plastic bags in some communities.

“Budrus” (U.S., 2009), directed by Julia Bacha, focusses on efforts by Palestinians and Israelis to save a village from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier.

Gasland” (U.S., 2010), directed by Josh Fox, who probes the toxic effects of the oil-drilling process known as fracking in 24 U.S. states.

“Weapon of War” (Netherlands, 2009), directed and produced by Ilse and Femke van Velsen, gives voice to Congolese soldiers who used rape as a weapon, but are now trying to reconcile with their past and break the cycle of sexual violence.

“These are outstanding works of independent filmmaking which have been leveraged to remarkable effect,” said Britdoc founding director Beadie Finzie.

The winning film, which will receive €50,000 ($64,000), will be announced Nov. 13 at a gala in Berlin.

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