Amazon Gold, a nationally acclaimed documentary made with the help of Wake Forest faculty and students, is the recipient of the International Environmental Film Festival’s first annual Green Film Network Award.
Sarah DuPont (P ’05), the film’s producer and a member of the College Board of Visitors, and director Reuben Aaronson received the award and a prize of 5,000 euros on Feb. 4 at the opening ceremony of the festival in Paris, France.
Narrated by Academy Award winners Sissy Spacek and Herbie Hancock, Amazon Gold depicts the devastating effects of illegal gold mining in the Amazon forests of South America. Wake Forest faculty and students affiliated with the Sustainability Clinic at the Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (CEES) consulted on the film for scientific content and performed on the ground scouting of locations in Peru.
The film was nominated for the award at the Environmental Film Festival in Washington, D.C. It was one of 11 films nominated by major environmental film festivals around the world to represent the best of environmental documentary filmmaking from each country. An international jury of film professionals selected Amazon Gold as the winner.
Professor of biology and CEES Director Miles Silman, who has spent his career conducting research in the Peruvian rainforest and was a scientific advisor and promoter for the film, said stopping the effects of illegal gold mining in the Amazon is an integral part of slowing the potentially devastating effects of climate change.
“The film has catalyzed a huge change in the politics of gold mining in Peru and internationally,” Silman said. “It is both interesting and hard to overstate its impact.”