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network 06/03/2012 - 02:00PM

2011 Audience Choice Winner Announced

Each year at Cinema Politica we select ten outstanding films that have screened throughout the network during the last year and ask our audiences to vote on their favourite. This year we had another record number of voters and for the first time the race was intensely close between three films - GASLAND, END:CIV - RESIST OR DIE and SWEET CRUDE. But alas, one film edged its way to victory before the February 29th, midnight cut-off.

A criminally overlooked and under-appreciated documentary about the resistance to Shell in the Niger delta, SWEET CRUDE is one of the best documentaries on social justice and resistance you will ever have the pleasure of watching. When we screened this film at Concordia University a seasoned activist left the theatre and exclaimed - "This film should be essential viewing for every activist organization and group."

SWEET CRUDE isn't the formulaic David-versus-Goliath tale that plays out in so many documentaries. It is an incredibly thoughtful revealing of the complicated and interlocking layers of a social movement. Whether it is the external political forces of Shell and its dirty money or the internal political forces of divergent political tactics among the Ogoni activists, SWEET CRUDE peels back the layers and exposes injustice, resistance and humanity.

Beautifully shot, superbly edited, and flawless in its ability to make a complex story compelling, SWEET CRUDE is a very deserving winner of the 2011 Cinema Politica Audience Choice Award. Sandy Cioffi, the film's director, had this to say:

"I am excited and honored to accept this award on behalf of the entire Sweet Crude crew. We could not be more pleased to be recognized by Cinema Politica's audience members — people with a shared passion for social and environmental justice. Cinema Politica plays such an important role by vetting quality, hard-hitting documentaries and connecting them with people who care enough to learn the deeper stories behind the critical issues of our times."

Congratulations to Ciofi and the whole SWEET CRUDE crew and thank you to everyone who voted, to the other nine nominees, and to everyone who supports independent political documentary. To read more about SWEET CRUDE and to watch the trailer, visit the film's Cinema Politica page. Read an interview with Sandy Cioffi here.

Past winners of the CP Audience Award are: DREAMLAND in 2010, AMERICAN RADICAL: THE TRIALS OF NORMAN FINKELSTEIN in 2009, and ROADSWORTH: CROSSING THE LINE in 2008. Clearly, our audiences have great taste!


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