Today, PUMA.Creative in partnership with Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation announced 10 new winners of PUMA.Creative Catalyst Awards. These awards support the very best in creative documentary filmmaking, and provide funds to further assist filmmakers. The winning films—with production spanning five continents—cover topics of sustainability, nuclear crisis, economy, race, class and more.
The PUMA.Creative Catalyst Awards provide strategic and catalytic resources in the early stages of documentary projects. Up to 40 PUMA.Creative Catalyst Awards are awarded annually, with announcements throughout the year. The filmmakers are awarded up to 5,000 Euros each to shoot and edit a film trailer to serve as a tool to demonstrate and accelerate the potential of the filmmakers’ vision.
PUMA.Creative Catalyst Awards announced today include: Alliance School (Paul Taylor), Alt-Orgs - Sustaining the Human (Patricia Murphy); Beyond the Wave (Kyoko Miyake); I Ride 4 Kevin (Lucy Walker); I, Afrikaner (Annalet Steenkamp); Logs of War (Anjali Nayar); Ntsika: The Pillar (Alette Schoon); Shadow Girl (Maria Teresa Larrain); an untitled Ramin Bahrani gold project (Ramin Bahrani); and White Volta (Timonthy Edzani Doh).
For this round of PUMA.Creative Catalyst Awards over 500 submissions were received from filmmakers working as far afield as Alaska and Australia, Bangladesh and Brazil. Film submissions included important contemporary stories such as the struggle against child-labour in Ghana to America’s obsession with gold. Other narratives include: Personal stories of a sports star’s rehabilitation from a brain injury; a Japanese filmmaker revisiting family in post-nuclear disaster Fukushima; a Chilean artist coping with losing her eye-sight; and a South African director speaking about contentious land rights and her identity.
PUMA.Creative Catalyst Awardees Announced Today:
Alliance School - Paul Taylor (UK/US)
Alliance School is a film about acceptance and sexuality in America. The story is told through one of a handful of GLBT schools in the US now facing the very real possibility of closure. The film tells the intimate stories of students, alongside the broader story of a school’s struggle to survive.
Alt-Orgs - Sustaining the Human - Patricia Murphy (Ireland)
In a collapsing economy what can individuals and companies do for a more sustainable and mutually beneficial future? Alt-Orgs provides a look at alternative organizations—from Employee Ownership to community cooperatives—and asks if they hold the key to a more sustainable future?
Beyond the Wave - Kyoko Miyake (Japan)
Beyond the Wave brings a personal perspective to the national crisis of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. Filmmaker Kyoko Miyake travels back to Fukushima to find out what happened to her mother’s hometown and the people who made their livelihoods from the nuclear plant.
I Ride 4 Kevin - Lucy Walker (UK/US)
I Ride 4 Kevin tells the story of a sport and the risks that athletes face in reaching the pinnacle of their profession. This is Kevin Pearce’s story, a celebrated snowboarder who sustained a brain injury in a trick gone wrong and who now aims, against all the odds, to get back on the snow.
I, Afrikaner - Annalet Steenkamp (South Africa)
Set in rural South Africa, where land issues are contentious, this film looks at what a person’s connection to land means. I, Afrikaner is Annalet Steenkamp’s journey into her family’s own unbreakable connections to the land, following four generations, it documents their response to change in an uncertain landscape.
Logs of War - Anjali Nayar (Canada)
Can sustainable logging kick-start Liberia’s post-war economy? Silas Siakor, a man who risked everything to cut off warlord Charles Taylor from the timber trade—that fuelled his countries civil war—is attempting to find out. Logs of War follows his endeavours.
Ntsika: The Pillar - Alette Schoon (South Africa)
Ntsika: The Pillar explores what it takes to bridge the divisions of race and class in South Africa today. The film follows a white principle from a privileged school as she crosses the tracks and takes on her first year at Ntsika Secondary, a township school in Grahamstown.
Shadow Girl - Maria Teresa Larrain (Chile)
How do you keep your voice as a visual artist when you’re losing your sight? Shadow Girl follows director, Maria Teresa Larrain, as she slowly becomes blind. We witness her fight to keep her dignity and voice and her search for a new way to see the world.
Untitled Ramin Bahrani gold project - Ramin Bahrani (USA)
The untitled Ramin Bahrani gold project explores a centuries-old obsession with gold and the way an unstable economy has brought it to the forefront of the American consciousness yet again in a new, modern-day gold rush.
White Volta - Timothy Edzeani Doh (Ghana)
White Volta is a story of child labor and poverty in Ghana and one mans campaign to change it. The film follows former child slave Annan as he returns to his roots to bring a better future to children trafficked for unpaid fishing work and shift local people’s opinions on child slavery.
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