Masters

For big-budget fiction or non-fiction films that report on highly topical events with an original approach and from a new point of view. This section includes both released and unreleased, serial and non-serial works that are intended to be exhibited through theatres, televisions or online media.

Bellingcat – Truth in a post truth world

Hans Pool | Submarine, VPRO

Bellingcat: Truth in a Post-Truth World follows the revolutionary rise of the “citizen investigative journalist” collective known as Bellingcat, a group of online researchers dedicated to exposing the truth of impenetrable news stories from around the world – from the MH17 disaster to the Syrian Civil War to the mysterious poisoning of a Russian spy in the United Kingdom. From his Leicester home, de facto leader Eliot and his team of truth-seekers put newspapers, networks and governments to the test. Bellingcat uses cutting-edge digital techniques and crowdsourcing to create a faster, more innovative approach than traditional research journalism.

For the first time, Bellingcat researchers in Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and the United States have given exclusive access to filmmaker Hans Pool, allowing him to follow the group on their path to demonstrate the power of open source investigation. When the International Criminal Court issued a landmark arrest warrant based on social media evidence, it was Bellingcat that proceeded to work on the case.

The cleaners

Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck | Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion

At their very inception, social media networks like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter claimed to be creating a global community unlimited by geographical or economic boundaries. The idea was through greater communication comes greater understanding. But in recent times these social media networks have faced a sinister challenge. Terrorist propaganda and radicalized opinions are rife on such sites to the extent that they are now fuelling systemic political change and sporadic acts of genocide. Laws and guidelines have been set up to censor controversial content.

Yet Silicon Valley has its own secret: a set of rules, criteria and processes by which its companies can curate the material posted to their sites. While the policies on permissible content are written in Silicon Valley, the global headquarter for content moderation is in Manila in the Philippines. Tens of thousands of young people are employed here as digital scavengers, moderating thousands upon thousands of troubling images and videos during the course of a ten-hour shift.

The Panama papers

Alex Winter | Epix Network

Leaked by an anonymous source to journalists in 2015, the Panama Papers were an explosive collection of 11.5 million documents, exposing the use of secretive offshore companies to enable widespread tax evasion and money laundering. Largely viewed as the biggest global corruption scandal in history, the release of the Papers had wide-reaching implications, incriminating 12 current or former world leaders, 128 politicians or public officials, and various celebrities and public figures (among others).

In his expansive documentary executive produced by Laura Poitras, director Alex Winter examines how this story reshaped our understanding of corruption amidst the highest forms of government, and the systemic problem of global inequality.