Like all good things, this year’s Doc Impact Award has been made possible by the group effort of a great gang of international partners, with deep collective experience in film and social change.

The 2016 Doc Impact Award is proudly presented by:

  • "Collectively I think they give us an understanding of the deep impact that films can have on important social justice issues and also illustrate how different that impact can be - from targeted corporate change, to grassroots policy engagement to launching dialogues on critical national and international issues. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!"

    Sheila Leddy, The Fledgling Fund

  • "This year’s award winners represent the incredible range of global documentary projects that not only tell beautiful stories, but continue to affect change on some of the most important social justice challenges of our era. I was gratified to work with jury team members who brought not only expertise in documentary storytelling to the table, but a sophisticated and sincere appreciation for the nuances of advocacy and social change that matters most – across local, national and global levels."

    Caty Borum Chattoo, Co-Director, Center for Media & Social Impact

  • "Some of the most pressing issues of the day.
    Some of the most socially conscious funders around.
    Some of the most fascinating discussions to be a part of.
    Some of the greatest cake and oh, powerful films made by committed passionate filmmakers.
    Didn't realise that talking about Impact could be this much fun."

    Tabitha Jackson, Sundance Institute


The challenge was to deploy the wisdom of our ten partners; to nominate, debate and agree on just five exceptional documentary films, that have executed strategic campaigns resulting in real world change.


Each of the partners were asked to nominate five film projects that they had been impressed by and knew to have strong social change campaigns, but had not worked on. This longlist was shared amongst the whole group and put through a seconding process to collectively nominate the short list of 12 film teams who were invited to apply for this year’s award.

The 12 filmmakers were asked to submit reporting describing the film’s campaign and data demonstrating evidence of the film’s social impact. For example:

  • CHANGING MINDS - How a film demonstrably changed public awareness of a given issue
  • CHANGING STRUCTURES - How a film influenced corporate policy on sustainability or workplace issues; or perhaps impacted lawmakers & politicians triggering reviews or enquiries
  • CHANGING BEHAVIOURS - How a film affected consumer purchasing or voting decisions
  • BUILDING COMMUNITIES - How the film helped build capacity or raised funds for campaign organisations and other partners

These entries were reviewed by the partners, who came together for vigorous debate at a live selection meeting, where the five winners of the 2016 award were eventually decided.


In particular we would like to recognise the significant work invested in the Impact Reports which were produced by Erin Sorenson in collaboration with the team at BRITDOC and then lovingly designed by Sarah Nicholson from Involved in London.

The Impact Award trophies which were designed and manufactured by Susan Banks, Professor at New World School of the Arts in Miami and photographed by Arion Doerr in New York.

Finally the graffiti art made for this year’s announcement was created by Victor Ving, working on location at the Container Yard in Los Angeles. In a film concept devised by BRITDOC and executed by Director and DOP Dallas Sterling and Producer Shelby Hill.

Thank you one and all.

We are incredibly grateful to all the individuals and organisations who have given their time to review the Impact Award shortlist since 2011.

Find out more about combining
great art and great impact.