Winner 2022

The Territory

National Geographic Documentary Films Presents A Documist And Associação Jupaú Film in association with Time Studios, Xtr, Doc Society Climate Story Fund / A Production of Protozoa Pictures, Passion Pictures, Real Lava (Disney+)

To watch The Territory is to be offered a front-row seat to one of the most pressing ecological issues of the 21st century. At the heart of the Amazon rainforest, the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people are fighting the encroaching deforestation that threatens not just their lives and livelihood but that of the entire globe. Amid a lawlessness encouraged by the Bolsonaro government that emboldened Brazilian farmers and illegal settlers to destroy parts of the protected rainforest, the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people have mounted a coordinated response to fight back against these attacks on land they’ve long tasked themselves with protecting. Their efforts are here captured by a documentary intent on amplifying their plight and uplifting the tireless work of activists and indigenous groups that refuse to capitulate to the capitalist violence inherent in seeing land not as something sacred but as something to be exploited for short-term gain. With striking imagery that captures the precarity of the Amazon and the natural ravages the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people are standing up against, The Territory is a timely local filmic intervention into a pressing global concern. Director Alex Pritz, who partway through production entrusted the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people with the filmmaking equipment to continue shooting in the midst of the developing COVID-19 pandemic, rightfully understood the value in seeing his subjects as fellow collaborators. For uplifting the voices and image-making of Indigenous communities intent on safeguarding the environmental role the Amazon forest plays in the Earth’s wellbeing, and for championing a committed vision of climate change activism that’s as urgent as it is necessary, The Territory is a Peabody Award winner.