LONDON – Puma is jumping into the world of documentary filmmaking.
Through its Puma.Creative initiative, the sports lifestyle company has partnered with Britain’s Channel 4 Britdoc foundation to aid the production of documentary films that highlight issues of social justice, peace, the environment or creativity.
“I believe in the power of filmmaking to make the world a little better than the world we know today,” Jochen Zeitz, chairman and chief executive officer of Puma, said during a press conference in London to launch the program Friday.
Puma will support documentaries through a number of channels, including providing workshops and education to filmmakers who are outside the film circuit, in addition to providing grants for documentary makers to travel during a film’s production or release.
Its annual Puma.Creative Impact award will grant a prize of 50,000 euros, or $64,000 at current exchange rates, to the documentary the initiative finds to have made the most significant social impact. The awards are open to emerging filmmakers worldwide.
Zeitz announced the first ten winners of the Puma.Creative Catalyst awards, which carry a 5,000 euro, or $6,400, grant to enable the production of trailers to help a documentary get into production. The first winning documentary film proposals include “Croaked,” which looks at how the world’s frog population is disappearing and “The Wretched of the Rainbow,” which looks at xenophobia in South Africa.
Zeitz said that supporting the documentaries fits in with Puma’s strategy of promoting “a more sustainable world.” “I’m not preaching that consumerism is bad, but we need to consume in the right way,” said Zeitz. “We want to build a consumerism that is positive, that’s about giving back rather than taking away.”