The Amnesty International “IMPACT PRIZE 2015” has been attributed to Denis Delestrac for his documentary “Sand Wars”, on the occasion of the 22nd edition of the FIGRA (Festival International du Grand Reportage d’Actualite et du documentaire de societe).
According to the jury, “beyond a global awareness of a little-known issue, this film highlights the urgency of placing human rights at the heart of the debate on the environment. An issue that the United Nations Environment Programme seized after the release of the film. In awarding this prize, the jury wishes to distinguish the rigor of an exemplary investigation that reveals exceptional evidences and sheds light on practices that affect populations whose rights are violated or threatened around the world due to the overexploitation of the resource.”
This year’s jury of the prestigious award was chaired by Amnesty International’s communication director Bertin Leblanc, and composed of Marie-Monique Robin, director of “The World according to Monsanto”, Claude Guibal, head of foreign service at France Culture, Michael Zumstein, photojournalist affiliated with the VU agency and Douglas Herbert, journalist at France 24..
“California and Sand Wars have some kind of a love affair. First of all we shot in several California locations, particularly in the northern part of the state like Glass Beach in Fort Bragg and UC Santa Cruz, and also in Manhattan Beach for instance where is erosion is dramatic. But beyond the locations and the interviews we shot along the coast, I’ve found in San Francisco the most incredible support, an amazing environmental consciousness and a profound will to bring the issue of beach erosion and sand mining to the rest of the world. Californians, from North to the border of Mexico, have a special relationship with the ocean, and I sincerely believe that they play a key part in helping me bring the message to the world and save those beaches we love so much,” said filmmaker Denis Delestrac.
The ten-days California Tour 2015 has been a huge success with full theaters screenings across the northern part of the state, an acclaimed masterclass titled “Investigative Journalism for Documentary Filmmaking” by Denis Delestrac and – cherry on top – another award for “Sand Wars” at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival – the “little Sundance” – as well as a Honorable Mention for having brought the issue of sand to the world.
Many thanks to Suzanne Harle, founder and executive director of Green Planet Films and to Ana Blanco, executive director of the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival, who organized this Tour with love and passion. Denis Delestrac will be back in California very soon for more, “an ocean in between can’t stop a love affair!”
The 11th Annual Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) starts this week! Sand Wars will screen on Opening Day, this Thursday Dec 4 at the Melia Nassau Beach Resort.
The BIFF was launched in 2004 with its mission as a non-profit organization dedicated to create a cine-literate arts community, bridging cultures, gaining knowledge, and attracting a targeted tourism sector through the film industry. Each successive year, BIFF grows significantly, with public relations dollar value of $20 million over 8 years, according to the renowned publicity firm Rogers and Cowan. BIFF has attracted A-List celebrities such as Heather Graham, Johnny Depp, Alan Arkin, Sir Sean Connery, Nicholas Cage, Laurence Fishburne, Roger Corman, Daryl Hannah, Sophie Okonedo, Anna Faris, Naomie Harris, Zoe Kravitz and Sydney Tamiia Poitier.
In January 2015, Sand Wars Writer and Director Denis Delestrac will be sponsored by Green Planet Films and the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival (where Sand Wars won the Environmental Award in March 2014) to give talks to various audiences throughout northern California. These audiences include universities, schools, investigative journalists, architects, construction companies, French cultural groups and outdoor enthusiasts. Stay tuned for more details on the Tour 2015 locations and schedule!.
Tickets for the The 13th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival go on sale to the public Monday, December 1st! The festival returns to downtown Nevada City and Grass Valley, CA January 15 – 18, 2015 and you don’t want to miss any of the action!. Denis Delestrac will be attending Jan 16-18 in Nevada City, CA. If you are near the location, come to a screening and a debate with the director..