Love, carbon and unknown heroes in Deauville

The increasing awareness for topics such as ecology, climate change, energy transition and food revolution has given a big boost to the 11th edition of the Deauville Green Awards. “We are very happy that so many people came to Deauville to see films about sustainability”, says Francois Morgant, President of the Deauville Green Awards. “When we founded this festival eleven years ago, ecology was not such a popular theme as it is today”, underlines Georges Pessis, Vice-President of the Deauville Green Awards. In total, 530 films from all across the world were submitted for the documentary, spot and info competitions . “We have a jury of 50 people who are separated in three competitions.”

The Grand Prize for the best documentary was awarded to the Australian film Carbon – The Unauthorised Biography. Produced by Lucy Maclaren, Niobe Thompson, Sonya Pemberton, the two hours long documentary gives an insight in the complex coherencies between carbon and climate change. “People think we have a carbon problem”, the astrophysics Neil deGrasse Tyson points out. “Don’t blame carbon, it is not carbon’s fault.”

Indeed, all of our food that we eat, the clothes that we wear and more than 90 percent that we see is carbon. It is in fabrics, wood, in all plastics and in our bodies. “Every cell in our body is loaded with carbon. It is part of our lives”, emphasizes the astrophysicist. In Carbon – The Unauthorised Biography, an outstanding documentary in terms of story and visual style, scientists explain why fossil fuels need to stay in the ground.


Philippe Fortin, Director Contents & Development at French production house Grand Angle Corporate, presented the film Tierrre de Liens about the same-named initiative in France which supports organic farming. Due to real estate speculations,  about 700 hectar of agricultural and untouched areas are sealed with concrete each week in France. The Tierre de Liens foundation supports projects that cultivate eco-friendly agriculture and protect the land on a longterm basis.


Preservation of the biodiversity, agriculture and sustainable resources such as soils, seas and forests as well as sustainable production are themes of the categories for the three Deauville Green Awards competition for spots, documentaries and image films. A transition in food production and agriculture also requires new solutions. Vincent Doumeizel, Senior Advisor on Oceans & Food to the UN Global Compact, suggests the consumption of seaweed. “Seaweed can be used for the emerging population and is helpful for our climate”, says the seaweed specialist.“The new food that we are going to have touches everybody”, says Georges Pessis, “because we all have to eat.”


In the Info competition which presents films by NGOs and institutions with a length up to 26 minutes, the Grand Prize went to the WWF Deutschland production Love by Anne Thomas. “Love is a parable about the relationships of humans to the forest”, says Susanne Winter, who is in charge of forest at WWF Deutschland. “It is a story about a tree who develops a deep relationship to a boy.”


A citizens’ movement is the UNESCO Green Citizens project which won the Trophée Or for the same-name info film in the category on humanitarian action and solidarity. A wake-up call for social justice is the spot The Unknown Heroes by Stéphane Barbato, which won the Grand Prize in the Spot competition. The spot is made was for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). “In a perfect world, war surgeons risking their lives to help victims should be as famous as footballers”, says Stéphane Barbato.


The French impact producer Magali Payen has the goal to change the world through imaginings and stories. “I want to show how the world could be in the best way and at he same time respect the planetary boundaries and the social justice”, emphazises Magali Payen, Founder of the movement On est pret which is mobilizing citizens.

Photo/videos: © GFS

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