The PUMA Impact Award is an annual prize given out by the shoe/sportswear company in partnership with The BRITDOC Foundation to the “documentary film that has made the most positive impact on society or the environment.” This year they’ve chosen Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing as winner of the honor and its accompanying €50,000 over nominees Bully, The Interrupters, The Invisible War and Give Up Tomorrow, all of which were still celebrated for their craft and power to change the world during a ceremony in NYC last night. The Invisible War received a Special Jury Commendation.
“They” is technically this year’s specific jury, which was made up of actress Susan Sarandon, actor Gael Garcia Bernal, author/journalist Eric Schlosser, leading activist Ricken Patel and novelist Zadie Smith. This is their statement about why they picked this year’s winner:
“The Act of Killing is a staggering and unique work of art that stands above time and place and will enrich and empower everyone who has the privilege to see it for many years to come. Its brave brilliance has already led to tremendous impact, almost single handedly opening the painful dialogue on Indonesia’s genocide, which claimed over one million lives. As a film, it has the potential to change the genre, and as art, it resurrects the deep insight into our nature offered by the ‘banality of evil.’ In doing so, its impact moves well beyond Indonesia, providing a contribution to all humanity.”
Past PUMA Impact Award winners include Budrus and The End of the Line with GasLand and Burma VJ: Reporting From a Closed Country receiving the Special Jury Commendations in previous years.