Earth Emergency – Susan Gray
Susan Gray (USA), Earth Emergency – Doc Feature – Narrated by Golden Globe winner Richard Gere this potent documentary illustrates the little known concept of “Climate Feedback Loops”. Emmy-nominee Gray brings her formidable directing talents to this piece turning unfamiliar and difficult concepts into understandable models. Driven by straight spoken narratives from experts and scientists – she includes clear and creative graphics that illustrate these ideas. Made all the more impactful by commentary from His Holiness, the Dalai Lama and climate activist Greta Thunberg. The result is a tight, impactful, moving doc – inspiring the viewer to action. Outstanding cast and crew – potently written by Bonnie Waltch (Nova / Discovery Channel / PBS) with eye-catching graphics, outstanding sound design and moving soundtrack. A must-see with the power to IMPACT the world on a wide scale. Aired PBS. Presented to the Members of the House of Parliament and by HRH Prince Charles as part of his COP26 Glasgow presence at the Terra Carta Action Forum.
MILKED – Amy Taylor
Amy Taylor (New Zealand), MILKED, Nature / Environment / Wildlife – “MILKED” exposes the whitewash of New Zealand’s multi-billion-dollar dairy industry and the horrific animal abuse, human health issues and environmental devastation all dairy “farming” perpetrates. Wrapped in an engaging story following charismatic host and Māori activist Chris Huriwai – it also features interviews with high-profile experts Dr. Jane Goodall, environmentalist and former actress Suzy Amis Cameron and Cowspiracy co-director Keegan Kuhn, as well as experts from the fields of ecology, economy, politics, medicine and more. Well balanced and based on solid science, it exposes the brutal animal cruelty, the sustainability crisis as well as the dangerous denial of impending agricultural disruption, but it also offers innovative solutions for countries around the globe to change their fate. Exceptional research, insightful scripting and tight editing. This doc in wide circulation has the potential to create a huge IMPACT.
Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight – Benjamin Uttley
Benjamin Uttley (United Kingdom), Silver Spitfire – The Longest Flight, Doc Feature – Pilot Matt Jones embarks on a daring expedition with a small team to do something no one has ever done before flying a 1940’s Silver Spitfire around the world in only four months. With an engaging crew this documentary follows their voyage – with stunning cinematography providing breathtaking images from Europe to North America, Russia, Asia, Arabia and back again. An endearing cast of characters creates an immersive portrait, brimming with danger, drama and emotion. Exceptional craft in every way, tight editing and beautiful sound design.
The Hunger – Ruan Magan
Ruan Magan (Ireland), The Hunger, Doc Feature – Narrated by Oscar-nominee Liam Neeson – this is a meticulously in-depth story of the great Irish famine of the 1840’s and the extraordinary circumstances, policies and belief systems that shaped it. Deftly directed with eye-opening new research, it reveals how the crisis was a manifestation of class struggle and how British authorities, the landed gentry and the Irish Catholic middle classes each contributed to the tragic fate of the millions who suffered and died. With a gorgeous score by Natasa Paulberg and creative editing by Keith Walsh. Aired RTÉ as a two part series.
Oliver Goetzl – Baboons – A Really Wild Family
Oliver Goetzl (Germany), Baboons – A Really Wild Family, Doc Feature – Wildlife filmmaking is in a league of its own – and Goetzl’s doc is a masterclass in the form. The African Rift Valley and an enormous cave offer a magnificent backdrop for a very special band of olive baboons. Goetzl and his team follow a young monkey as he grows up and captures the dynamics of the family with exceptional craft and a witty and thoroughly entertaining script – making this family of baboons relatable to the audience (while never anthropomorphizing the troop). Every piece of this doc is professionally exceptional – creative filming, scripting, sound design and soundtrack.
Mark Ruberg (USA), Oyáte un Itówapi – Pictures of My People – MLK Day Feature, Native Peoples – Four-time Emmy winner Ruberg’s powerful film follows retried Pro Athlete, Oglala Lokota Jim Warne as he movingly addresses the challenges and systemic racial injustice Native Cultures face in America. Sharply written, lush cinematography, impactful sound design garnered three Emmy nominations.
Luc Marescot (France), Green Forests and Red Carpet, Doc Feature – Emmy-nominated Marescot, a veteran director of documentaries forays into the feature film world to reach a larger audience with his messages of environmental destruction. This well crafted and entertaining doc chronicles his quest from France to Hollywood and finally a meeting with Academy Award winner Juliette Binoche.
Frances Causey (USA), The Long Shadow, Doc Feature – Emmy Award-winning former CNN Senior Producer Causey, and producer Sally Holst deliver a potent, informative and excruciatingly honest portrait of systematic racism in the USA as she traces her family’s legacy of white privilege, from slavery to modern day. Outstandingly researched, superbly scripted, impactful and beautifully crafted. Aired PBS.
Andrew Paterson and Shahul Hameed (Singapore), Climate for Change: Closing the Loop, Doc Feature – Brilliantly examines the concept of the circular economy and its potential benefits for the world’s environment. Provocative information, exceptional research, tight editing, impactful interviews, beautiful cinematography and stunning graphics. Documentary Unit of Channel NewsAsia at Mediacorp in Singapore.
Ramesh Sharma (South Africa / India ), Ahimsa Gandhi: The Power of the Powerless, Doc Feature – A compelling, well-researched doc explores Gandhi’s Non-Violence; inspiring Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement, Poland’s Solidarity Movement, The Velvet Revolution and Nelson Mandela’s Apartheid fight. Touching interviews with HH Dalai Lama, President Lech Walesa and Ghandi’s family.
Gary “Litefoot” Davis (USA), Strong Hearts: An Indigenous Love Letter to My Sons, Doc Short – A lush, powerful and poetic doc – creatively taking the form of a letter imparting a father’s wisdom to his sons from an indigenous world view. A raw and vulnerable account of history and lessons to live a life of dignity, purpose and reclaim their Native roots. Set against sweeping backdrops with evocative music.
Luis Robledo and Vanni Mangoni (USA), The Song That Calls You Home, Doc Feature –provocative and mind-opening – a personal, scientific and mystical exploration of Amazonian curanderismo (healing) – with focus on Ayahuasca and Master Plant teachers used for millennia by the Shipibo people. Following the journey of the filmmakers themselves. Pretty cinematography, gorgeous graphics, moving soundtrack.
Klaus Scherer (Germany), Online Hate Speech: Underway with Criminal Prosecutors, Doc Feature – Veteran journalist Scherer’s expose about online hate speech and the measures that are taken to prosecute the perpetrators. Follows the police raids with potent and measured interviews with the prosecutors, perpetrators and antagonists. A harrowing picture of a pervasive problem. A masterclass in investigative journalism.
Simone Vrech (Italy), Langobardi – Alboino e Romans, Doc Feature – An historic account of the Alboin, the first Lombard king who arrived in Italy with his population and the founded the village of Romans. Told through interviews with informative scholars it recounts the facts and the realities of daily life – and features gorgeous reenactments with opulent cinematography that delivers emotional influence. Beautiful scenery carries the story and the through line to modern times.
Alena Cincerova (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Canada), IDENTITY ES, Documentary Feature
Amy Taylor (New Zealand), MILKED, Women Filmmakers
Barbara Bentree (USA), ORIGAMI IN THE GARDEN, Documentary Feature, Women Filmmakers, Original Score (Composed by John Rangel)
Brent Deal (USA), Doc vs Parkinson’s, Documentary Feature
Cam William MacArthur (Canada), Before They Fall, Documentary Feature
Dan Redfield (USA), Granted: A Wish Story, Documentary Feature
David Casals Roma (Spain), The Voice of Thaïs, Documentary Feature
Enver Samuel (South Africa), Murder in Paris, Documentary Feature
Frances Causey (USA), Is Your Story Making You Sick?, Documentary Feature
Gary Kent (Australia), The Soldier’s Uniform, Documentary Short
Helen Stehli Pfister (Switzerland), SERGEY TANIN -THE PIANIST WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, Documentary Feature
Hualien Forest District Office, Yen Wen Ru and Change Yuan Yu (Taiwan), Morisaka Memories – The Modern-day Legacy of Hualien’s Lintianshan Forest, Documentary Feature
Hugo Dayan (France), So, still digging?, Research
Igal Bursztyn (Israel), Our Beds are Burning, Documentary Feature
Jeff Reilly (USA), Tipping The Pain Scale, Documentary Feature
Jon Osaki (USA), Not Your Model Minority, Documentary Short
Jordan Orsak (USA), DELIVERING HOPE, Documentary Feature, Viewer Impact: Motivational / Inspirational
Kate Cohen, Straight Up Impact (USA), Luna, Documentary Short
Klaus Scherer (Germany), Online Hate Speech: Underway With Criminal Prosecutors, Contemporary Issues / Awareness Raising
Luis Robledo and Vanni Mangoni (USA), The Song That Calls You Home, Original Score (Composed by Luis Robledo)
Douglas Silverstein (USA), The Relentless One, Documentary Short, Direction
Mary Darling and Robbie Hart (Canada), In Search of a Better World, Documentary Feature
Mathilde Damoisel and Tomas Van Houtryve (France), Far West, l’Histoire oubliée., Documentary Feature
Niall Doran, Bookend Trust/Bookend Enterprises (Australia), SURVIVORS: Rediscovering the Short-Tailed Rain Crayfish, Documentary Short, Nature / Environment / Wildlife
Pejman Alipour (Iran), Where the Winds Die, Documentary Short
Samuel Austin (United Kingdom), Awakening the Soul, Documentary Feature
Simone Vrech and Matteo Grudina (Italy), Langobardi – Alboino e Romans, History / Biographical
Steve Meixell (USA), Unearthing Ogawa, Documentary Feature, Direction
Thomas Harman, Middlesex University (United Kingdom), Riot in the Meadow, Documentary Short (Student), Narration / Voice-Over Talent (Roberta Taylor)
Tim Whalen (USA), The Balance, Documentary Short
Tim Whalen (USA), Bløm // Farm to Fourth Ave., Documentary Short
World Surf League (USA), We Are One Ocean, Documentary Short
Click the laurels for AWARD OF MERIT winners