The 2016 Doc Impact Awards were released on Twitter yesterday via a time lapse video of a graffiti mural with the award-winning titles. The five winners are Oscar winner “Citizenfour,” “Miners Shot Down,” “Chasing Ice,” “Food Chains” and “Virunga.” They were chosen by 10 leaders in film and social change, including members of the Sundance Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures, The Center for Media & Social Impact and more. The documentaries will receive $5,000 each for their dedication to sharing important ideas.
“Collectively, I think the [docs] give us an understanding of the deep impact that films can have on important social justice and also illustrate how different that impact can be,” said Fledgling Fund’s Executive Director Sheila Leddy, who donated the award money”
The #DocImpactHi5 award will also return this year, donating another $5,000 to the documentary that receives the most tweets. The award will be announced on March 1. Tweets with #DocImpactHi5 and the movie’s twitter handle will be counted towards the award until February 29.
The 2016 winners are listed below. Synopses provided by the Doc Impact Awards.
“Chasing Ice” is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Following acclaimed photographer James Balog, “Chasing Ice” plays like an adventure film, shifting the hearts and minds of audiences globally.
After filmmaker Laura Poitras received encrypted emails from someone with information on the US government’s massive covert-surveillance programs, she and reporter Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong to meet the sender, who turned out to be Edward Snowden. The film exposes the reality of mass surveillance and its consequences for personal privacy and public policy.
“Food Chains” exposes the exploitation of farm workers in the agriculture industry in the US, the complicity of government and corporations in perpetuating human rights abuses, and the role consumers can play in ending some of the most egregious human rights violations in the country. Championing the Fair Food Program, “Food Chains” delivers citizen advocates and supports the farmworkers taking on the food super chains.
“Miners Shot Down”
Nearly 40 miners were shot dead by South African police service at the Marikana Massacre in 2012 — the single most lethal use of force by South African security forces against civilians since 1960. “Miners Shot Down” reveals the truth about what really happened, the deep fault lines it has exposed in South Africa’s nascent democracy and it calls for justice for the miners and their widows.
“Virunga” is the incredible true story of a group of brave individuals risking their lives to save Africa’s oldest national park in the midst of renewed civil war and a scramble for the region’s natural resources. The film brought worldwide attention to the threat to the park from British mining company SOCO International, in the process forging an international coalition of partners to protect Virunga.